SCAIR Springtime Gathering for TANF Participants
By Roy Cook

Osiyo. Hello, my Native American relatives. Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR, welcomed our Native American families and San Diego Urban Tribal TANF participants to the April 16, 2011 Springtime Gathering of Native Americans, GONA, career training activity.

At this Springtime event there is plenty of good cheer, comfortable facilities, games, surprises and entertainment to be enjoyed from 10am to 3pm, in the Alpine community center at Alpine, California. There were many happy rabbit activities: crafts, face painting, balloon creations and games for the Indian children and also family photo opportunities.

SCAIR Executive Director, Wanda Michaelis called upon SCAIR Senior Advisor Randy Edmonds for a traditional blessing to open the proceedings. She then launched a very successful 'ice breaker' activity that paired up two adults that had not known each other before. There were just three questions to be noted about each: Name, geographical origin and a special question that no one else knew about. This activity produces the successful effect for all of us attending to meet each other and enjoy the quality and humor of the answers. Our SCAIR Board President Bill Johnson was also very active in facilitating the flow and success of this activity.


Our SCAIR main speakers, Randy Edmonds and Roy Cook, presentation theme was bringing Native American families together in Urban and Rural environments. Randy related aspects of his life and experience from the Kiowa and Caddo Oklahoma reservations and the drama of the BIA relocation experience in Los Angeles. He has a very impressive number of community and sports accomplishments in Oklahoma and Southern California.

Roy followed with his experience of growing up in South Tucson, Arizona and the immediate proximity to the Tohono Oodham reservation. Also his unique early experiences growing up with a number of lifelong friends on the Santa Ysabel reservation in Southern California. The open dialogue generated a question and answer session on Tribal Sovereignty, the history of California Land issues and the effects of the Termination legislation, HR 108 and Public Law 280 in the last century. What was most strongly emphasized by both speakers is that no matter what history or politics or economics may challenge us as Native American people. Our traditional mission in life remains constant. We are all related and we must make every effort to do what our Elders taught us, blood relations or not, every Elder has wisdom that will serve us well in life. Lastly, we must look to the Indian children and think of them to the seventh generation.

From all of us at SCAIR, our appreciation at this springtime gathering to all TANF participants and our Native American families, keep happy hippity hopping this spring. Thank you: Wado, Aho, Mehan.