Baskets and Botany at Tecolote Canyon

By Roy Cook

San Diego City Park and Friends of Tecolote Nature Center is celebrated this October 11, 2008 from 9am to 4pm with the traditions of the Original Americans, the Kumeyaay. The Baskets and Botany event offers tribal songs and craft activities. Richard Bugbee and Martha Rodriguez are in the Tecolote outdoor park display area. Vickie Gambala, San Diego Unified School District Title VII Indian Education program children corner inside was a big hit for all ages! Projects included Dream catchers, Cherokee baskets, Kumeyaay bears and a decorated traveling bag. Her sister Martha Estrada from Corona and Connie Grey Bull, Jaye Osawa, parents, assists her and participants of the SCAIR Soaring Eagles dance program.

The first Native American presentation is at 10 am by: Running Grunion, Abel Silva is a delight for young and old. His lighthearted view of history and the humanity of the Tribal people of Southern California is the best kind of teaching - with a smile.

Marla Gilmore, Nature Center Director escorted Ms Donna Frye, San Diego City Councilperson thru the center just as the Wildcat singers were presenting. Marla had invited Jon Meza Cuero, to sing Wildcat songs. We were able to present five singers for the 11 am presentation: Henry Mendibles, Ben Nance, Jon Meza Cuero, Roy Cook and Stan Rodriguez. Jon has been singing the Niemai, Gato, Wildcat songs of the Tipai-Kumeyaay for over seventy years. For more on the Wildcat songs and Jon Meza Cuero or Traditional Southern California Bird songs in general go to:

Eons ago, more than 50,000 years or more, the Kumeyaay Indians lived all along the coast and canyons of San Diego. They found food and shelter in Tecolote Canyon. It has been designated as a cartographic feature on area maps for nearly two centuries and was given the Hispanic name Tecolote, or owl, for the diminutive raptor that lives in this canyon.

The City of San Diego acquired this land and it was dedicated on April 1, 1978. The new park was officially named Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and the first members of the Tecolote Canyon Citizens' Advisory Committee were sworn in.

Maybe we will see you at the next American Indian Tribal event.
Ah woo mah, mehan.