Photos: Roy Cook (left) and Dr. Daniel Calac (right)
East County News Service
November 13, 2013 (San Diego)--KPBS and Union Bank are honoring two inspiring individuals in honor of American Indian Heritage Month through their Local Heroes program, which pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their community, region and the world at large.
The 2014 honorees for American Indian Heritage Month are Dr. Daniel Calac and Roy Cook.
Dr. Calac is the medical director of the Indian Health Council a consortium of nine tribes dedicated to the continual betterment of Indian health, wholeness, and well-being. A principal investigator of the California Native American Research Centers for Health, Dr. Calac was born and raised on the Pauma Indian Reservation locally and began his pathway in medicine as a tribal doctor. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from San Diego State University and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he was awarded the Arthur Ashe Foundation Fellowship at the Harvard AIDS Institute.
Dr. Calac participated in the Four Directions Summer Program, a student-run project that brings Native American undergraduates to Harvard to perform research, shadow physicians and meet Native American medical students. He is a member of the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians, the InterTribal Youth Advisory Board and a board member of the California State University San Marcos Foundation.
Roy Cook is a tribal writer, author, journalist, native singer and artist born in Arizona of Ootan (Opata) and Oklahoma (Wazazee) Osage heritage. An Army veteran, he is the president and historian of the San Diego American Indian Warriors Association. He also serves as the tribal historian for the Southern California American Indian Resource Center in San Diego County.
Mr. Cook is a member of the Golden State Gourd Dance Society and the Western Oklahoma Comanche Gourd Clan. He has served as curator of the American Indian Cultural Center Museum, San Diego Balboa Park, and the Indian Human Resource Center, Inc. He has published more than 300 stories for print and online covering many Native American topics and has taught at numerous colleges in San Diego, including Palomar College, Mesa Community College and Grossmont College, where he also served as chairman of the Multicultural Studies Department.
KPBS general manager Tom Karlos says, “KPBS is honored to continue its partnership with Union Bank to celebrate these Local Heroes during American Indian Heritage Month. Through their efforts in our communities, these extraordinary individuals improve the quality of life for all.”