Tribal Beat

Exploring the lives of East County's Tribal Community

TRIBAL BEAT: SUPPORT BUILDS FOR OAK FLAT

 

By Leon Thompson

July 23, 2015 (Oak Flat Campground, Tonto National forest,  Superior, Arizona) - Recently we reported on the controversy over Congress giving Apache sacred land to a foreign mining company; now there is a petition you can sign on CREDO asking Congress to protect Apache sacred land and halt the sale, which was slipped into a Defense bill.

TRIBAL MEMBERS SPEAK OUT TO PRESERVE KUMEYAAY LANGUAGE

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Only about 100 fluent speakers of the Kuyemaay dialect remain -- and most of thoe are in Mexico, Margaret Field, a professor of American Indian Studies at San Diego State University told the San Diego Union-Tribune. She added, “All indigenous languages around the world are endangered, in that they could disappear within a generation or two.”

But here in San Diego’s East County, local Native American tribal members are making efforts to keep their language alive.

FIRE CREWS BATTLE FIRE IN LAKESIDE'S WILDCAT CANYON

 

Update June 19, 2015 5 p.m. -- The fire is 170 acres and is now 68% contained, Cal Fire advises.

Update June 18, 2015 12 p.m. -- A firefighter has been injured, NBC news reports, as firefighters continue holding the blaze in rugged terrain. 

Update June 18, 2015  8 a.m. -- Cal-Fire now estimates the fire is at 178 acres and 38% contained.  Firefighters worked through the night with headlamps in steep terrain.  Wildcat Canyon Road is open in both directions and homes are no longer threatened at this time.

Update 9 p.m. -- The fire has burned 150 acres and is 10% contained.  Temperature is 75 degrees and humidity is 54%; the rate of spread is now slow.  Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze including Cal-Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, Heartland and Barona. Wildcat Canyon Rd. remains closed from Founder's Way to San Vicente Road, Cal-Fire advises.  The County Office of Emergency Services and the American Red Cross are also now involved.

Update 6:45 p.m. - Cal Fire spokesman Kendal Bortisser has advised  that the fire has potential for 500 acres, though Cal Fire hopes to contain it at 50 acres.  Fire is 10% contained, incident commander estimates. Residents report heavy smoke and poor air quality. The Sheriff has evacuated 7 homes but no others are currently threatened. Those evacuated are sheltering at the Barona Casino. View live-streaming video on Fox 5 at http://fox5sandiego.com/on-air/live-streaming/.

Update 6:02 p.m. The road closure has been moved to south of the Barona Casino to give people access to the casino, CHP reports.  U.S. Forest Service Crews, Cal Fire and Barona firefighters are battling the blaze

Photo  by Shannon Cervantes: fire with Barona Casino in foreground

June 17, 2015 (Lakeside) - A brush fire is burning in Lakeside early this evening on the Barona reservation near Wildcat Canyon Road. The fire, reported about 4:50 p.m. near Acuunya Way., is northeast of the casino and moving northeast toward a glider port. Cal Fire estimateed the blaze at 20 acres but a retired fire official in the area has estimated that the fire has swelled to 40 or 50 acres.

Structures are immediately threatened and the blaze is spreading rapidly, according to Cal-Fire. Wildcat Canyon Road is closed due to the fire from San Vicente Road to just south of the casino. Fixed wing aircraft and helicopters are battling the fire, ECM news partner 10 News reports.

Multiple news outlets report the Sheriff has evacuated several residences in the Acuuunya Way area.

AUTOPSY REVEALS CHILLING DETAILS IN BARONA TOT’S DEATH

 

 

Abused child’s death is symptom of national high rate of violence suffered by Native American children

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 15, 2015 (Lakeside) – An autopsy report released this week reveals disturbing details in the death of 3-year-old Roland Eagle Eyes Meza Sandoval, whose body was found in a home freezer on the Barona Indian Reservation in January. The child's death is symbolic of the high rate of violence suffered by Native American children on reservations, often at the hands of non-Indian men.

According to the Medical Examiner, the child died of asphyxiation after beatings and abuse that also resulted in blunt force injuries of his head, neck, and torso as wella s bruising on his limbs, a fracture of his upper jaw, hemorrhaging and organ damage.

JAMUL ACTION COMMITTEE APPEALS CASINO RULING

East County News Service

Photo: Construction site at Jamul Indian Village

May 27, 2015 (Jamul) – The Jamul Action Committee and Jamulians Against the Casino (JAC/JCC) today announced that they have appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal judge denied their request for a prelimininary injunction to halt construction of a casino at the Jamul Indian Village.

The plaintiff’s request for a permanent injunction remains pending while the tribe moves forward on construction.

PENN NATIONAL GAMING NAMES RICHARD ST. JEAN GENERAL MANAGER OF HOLLYWOOD CASINO JAMUL-SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

May 26, 2015 (Jamul) – Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) announced today that Richard St. Jean has been named General Manager of Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego. Mr. St. Jean, who currently serves as General Manager of Hollywood Casino Toledo, will also assume an oversight role at Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Mr. St. Jean will have full responsibility for the opening and management of the planned $360 million Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, which will be owned by the Jamul Indian Village of California and managed by Penn National Gaming.

ATTEMPT TO SHUT DOWN JAMUL CASINO FAILS IN COURT

 

By Leon Thompson

May 21, 2015 (Jamul Indian village) – U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller  rejected an activist group’s motion to preemptively halt construction on the proposed Hollywood themed casino on the Jamul Indian Village land.

BEHIND "STANDING ON SACRED GROUND" CONNECTIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

May 22, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Christopher McLeod was disturbed by the environmental injustice. He saw Native Americans subjected to airborne coal pollution, and their water being taken for slurry lines. The Hopi elders told him there was a spiritual side to the injustice. These violations were taking place within a network of sacred places that their people had preserved for countless generations. These consisted of a sacred mountain, sacred springs that gave the Hopi life, and their ancestral burial grounds. The elders told him the cause of the West’s environmental crises is the disconnect from their spiritual link to the earth. This has become the message behind Standing on Sacred Ground, a four part documentary which can be seen on the WORLD Channel, Sundays at 9:00 PM (ET) until June 14, 2015. See video.

SYCUAN CASINO NOW OFFERING UPGRADED REWARDS TO MILITARY SPOUSES

 

May 14, 2015 (El Cajon)--Sycuan Casino recently announced that its exclusive Military Freedom Card, and all the benefits that come along with it, will now be extended to military spouses. The Military Freedom Card, which has previously been offered to active duty, retired and veteran members of the military only, now allows military spouses to access rewards at an upgraded level. Civilian players who sign up for Club Sycuan receive instant rewards like discounts at the casino’s restaurants, gift shop, poker room, Primrose Room and more. Upon sign up, Military Freedom cardholders instantly receive even higher levels of discounts at these venues in addition to receiving additional point boosters based on play.

SDG&E PRESENTS $1.2 MILLION INCENTIVE CHECK TO PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS

 

Pala receives largest On-Bill Financing loan in California for energy efficiency initiatives

May 14, 2015 (San Diego)-- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) presented a $1,246,692.70 check to the Pala Band of Mission Indians and Pala Casino Spa & Resort for energy-efficient equipment scheduled to be installed in the nearly 630,000 square feet property on May 4th, , making it the largest On-Bill Financing loan ever issued in California.

WINONA LADUKE INSPIRES AUDIENCE AT GREENFEST

 

By Leon Thompson

Photo: Winona LaDuke with her cousin, ECM Tribal Beat journalist Leon Thompson

May 2, 2015, 2015 (SDSU Montezuma Hall) - The Conrad Prebys Student Center at San Diego State University was filled on Earth Day, April 22, as Winona LaDuke took the stage dwarfed by the giant screen depicting the past splendor and future possibilities of her native White Earth Nation.  In the language of the Anishinaabe she brought greetings and recounted the Ojibwa names for the months or moons noting that not one of them was named after a Roman Emperor.

NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUAL BELIEFS AT STAKE

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales & Robert Lundahl

April 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Native American spiritual beliefs are under attack. On Friday, April 10, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments for, and against, Native Americans being allowed to worship at their ancient sacred site inside Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility. The immediate concern is gaining access; the larger issue is freedom of religion.

SDSU POW WOW APRIL 25TH TO HONOR SDSU PROFESSORS DR. LINDA PARKER AND ROY COOK

 

East County News Service

April 17, 2015 (San Diego) – The 2015 annual pow wow at San Diego State University will be held on April 25th at the ENS softball field.  This year’s pow wow honors two late SDSU Native American professors, Dr. Linda Parker and Roy Cook.

WINONA LADUKE SPEAKS APRIL 22 AT SDSU’S GREENFEST

East County News Service

April 16, 2015 (San Diego) — Internationally acclaimed Native American and environmental activist Winona LaDuke will be the keynote speaker at San Diego State University’s GreenFest on Earth Day, April 22nd.  She will appear at Montezuma Hall in the Conrad Prebys Student Center at 4:30 p.m. The speech is free and open to the public.

LaDuke is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, the largest Indigenous environmental organization in North America, and the author of 6 books. She is an Anishinaabe from the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. La Duke also served as Ralph Nader’s vice-presidential running mate on the Green Party ticket in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. In 2007, LaDuke was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

She is also a cousin of East County Magazine co-founder Leon Thompson.

4 FINALISTS CHOSEN FOR WOMEN ON $20 BILL CAMPAIGN

 

April 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Womenon20s.org has been campaigning to have a woman’s image replace the image of former general and president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. The group held a national vote for the public to choose among 15 candidates. Now, the field has been narrowed to four.  Three were chosen by popular vote:  Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

The fourth, Wilma Mankiller, was added by popular demand to include a Native American option to replace Jackson. Jackson ordered the forced relocation of Cherokee Indians off their lands, causing deaths of 4,000 in what became known as the Cherokee Trail of Tears.Mankiller, fittingly, was a Cherokee chief and the first Native American elected to lead a tribe in modern times, noted for her accomplishments to help the Cherokee people.

PASSAGES: MANZANITA TRIBAL CHAIRMAN LEROY ELLIOTT

By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2015 (Manzanita Reservation)—For the past 18 years, Leroy Joseph Elliott has served as Chairman of the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.  A respected leader and elder in the Native American community who led efforts to revive cultural traditions, Chairman Elliott passed away on March 18, 2015.

Born on April 18, 1943 to John Elliott and Adelina Aswayo at the Soboda Indian Hospital in Riverside County, Elliott was raised on the Manzanita Indian reservation in East County and attended Mountain Empire High School.  He served as a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service and as Assistant Fire Chief of the Campo Reservation Fire Department.    

According to California Indian Education, Elliott was the last fluent speaker of the Kumeyaay language at Manzanita.  He dedicated himself to preserving and teaching the Kumeyaay language to his people, advocating for continuance of the language, traditions, cultures and beliefs.   He led efforts to revive bird songs, traditions passed down through thousands of years of Kumeyaay history, preserving them for future generations.

SAINT JUNIPERO SERRA?

 

By Leon Thompson, host of East County Magazine’s Tribal Beat on KNSJ Radio

March 30, 2015 – (Vatican City) – Pope Francis, on a flight to Rome, declared to reporters, “In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States.”

In other words, the Pope intends to make Junipero Serra a Roman Catholic saint.   However Junipero Serra is no Saint to indigenous people.

READER'S EDITORIAL: ROY COOK FAREWELL

 

By Grey Feathers

March 12th, 2015 (Viejas) - A huge throng of people from all over came to say goodbye to Roy Cook in the gym at the heart of the Viejas Reservation on Saturday.  Roy died suddenly and we are overwhelmed with a sense of loss.  It was comforting to hear from so many friends how they were touched by his magic.  The prayers, the songs, the Honor Guard, the Soaring Eagles, the drums building up to heaven and the wailing releasing our anguish.  We cried in each other's arms.

The first day I met Roy Cook was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jamul Casino in 2005.  I was proud and happy for the Jamul Indian Village and perplexed by the angry faces marching with signs on the street.  Roy sensed the vicious opposition would eventually delay the project and he was right.  He told me some of the history of the Jamul Band.  He said they were the poorest of the poor.  Their little village had dirt roads, their homes had dirt floors.

That encounter changed my life because Roy spoke with such certainty and compassion I began reading everything he wrote.  The words lifted off the pages like they were written in my heart.  Being indigenous became more than a card I carried in my wallet.

JAMUL RESIDENTS PROTEST CASINO AS CONSTRUCTION PROGRESSES

East County News Service

March 11, 2015 (Jamul)--Approximately 200 protesters held a “flash mob” demonstration in Jamul Saturday, wearing red as they voiced their continuing opposition to a casino under construction at the Jamul Indian Village.

Excavation is completed at the project, site of a planned Hollywood-themed casino in conjunction with Penn National Gaming.

Projected to open in mid-2016, the casino is expected to include a three-story gaming and entertainment facility of approximately 200,000 square feet with gaming, restaurants, bars, and parking.  The tribe estimates the project will create an estimated 2,500 construction and permanent jobs in the area.

"WHO ARE MY PEOPLE?" IS WELL WORTH WATCHING

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

Editor’s Note: The ECOreport is pleased to present a unique article by Dr. Allan Hoffman, former senior executive at the Department of Energy, who served under five Presidents between 1978 and 2012, reviewing ECOreport partner, Robert Lundahl’s film, “Who Are My People?”

At the ECOreport, we have been aware that Lundahl’s film captures a key transition in the history of renewable energy, as concentrating solar, which had been developed in the US, began to return in the hands of international firms building large solar facilities in the Mojave desert.

Lundahl ventured to these remote locations to capture responses from Native American elders whose communities and tribal groups have had a connection to the land since time immemorial. The film is about resulting conflicts in values that define renewable energy in its current form, and provide a consultative view about how we implement these technologies today, and in the future.

March 6, 2015--I was invited to review the documentary film “Who Are My People?” because of my professional familiarity with concentrating solar power technologies. I was responsible for the U.S. Department of Energy’s broad range of renewable energy electricity programs for several years during the Clinton Administration. “Who Are My People?” is well worth watching.

PASSAGES: ROY COOK 1943-2015, NATIVE AMERICAN JOURNALIST AND TEACHER

 

February 27, 2015 (San Diego) – Roy Cook, founding journalist of the California Indian Education site and publisher of the website www.americanindiansource.com, died in his San Diego home on February 18, 2015 at age 71.  KPBS named him an American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero in 2014 for his many accomplishments.

FIRST POW-WOW AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE IS A SUCCESS

 

By Leon Thompson

February 26, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) The new Native American Student Alliance (NASA) at Cuyamaca College hosted the first annual Cuyamaca Pow Wow earlier this month. “Our goal is to share the rich heritage of our region’s Native culture” said Teka Tsosie, vice president of the student organization, and coordinator of the event.

RINCON CHAIRMAN WINS AWARD

 

February 20, 2015 (Valley Center)-- Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, was presented with the Fifth Annual Anna Sandoval Leadership Award at the Western Indian Gaming Conference’s Tribal Leaders’ luncheon, February 11, 2015, at Harrah’s Resort Southern California, in Valley Center, Ca.

"THE '60S BABY SCOOP": A STOLEN SON FINDS HIS WAY HOME

 

An interview with Wayne William Smoke-Snellgrove

by KB Schaller

Reprinted with permission of Indian Life Newspaper

"The hardest thing I ever did in my whole life was to grow up."

--Wayne William Smoke-Snellgrove

 

February 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - The tone of my friend, Beaded Wing's, email was excited: "You really need to talk to this brother and write his story. I've already told him you'll be contacting him."

"Brother" or otherwise, I wondered what he could share that I had not heard before. But, when Wayne William Snellgrove  mentioned the term "60's Baby Scoop" during our first telephone conversation, I knew that his story would be as riveting as any tale of fiction in its unearthing of an era largely cloaked in secrecy.

BARONA CULTURAL CENTER AND MUSEUM HOSTS INTRODUCTION TO BEADING CLASS WITH LELANIE THOMPSON

 

February 1, 2015 (Lakeside) The Barona Cultural Center and Museum invites San Diegans to learn the art of Native American beading on Saturday, February 7 at a special class presented by Ancient Spirits Speak, the museums public education program.

1ST ANNUAL POW-WOW AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE FEB. 7

 

 

January 21, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Cuyamaca College will host its first annual pow-wow on February 7th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.   The public is invited to enjoy gourd dancing at 10 a.m. followed by a grand entry at 11 a.m. There will also be Native American arts and crafts, fry bread and Indian tacos. Admission is free.

JUSTICE DEPT. TO TRIBES: MARIJUANA GROWING ON RESERVATIONS ACCEPTABLE, WITH LIMITS

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – At the request of Native American tribes, the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a policy statement offering guidance to U.S. Attorneys on priorities for enforcing marijuana laws on tribal lands. Given that many states have legalized marijuana for medical, agricultural or recreational use, the statement lists eight priorities for enforcement on Indian lands—and makes clear that any enforcement must require consultation with tribal partners.

DEFENSE BILL ALLOWS DESECRATION OF APACHE LAND

 

By Leon Thompson

December 27, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Senate passed a measure authorizing the nation’s defense programs and along with it, managed to give lands sacred to Native Americans to a foreign company that owns a uranium mine with Iran.

VIEJAS SETS NEW TOY DRIVE RECORD: DONATES 14,000 TOYS TO SALVATION ARMY

 

Viejas Tribal government staff, Casino & Resort team members and guests helped reach toy drive goal

Link to video from Toy Drive “Big Reveal”:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c8rQTaZqUCY0J5b0JFT193c0U/view?usp=sharing

December 16, 2014 (Alpine)--One of the biggest annual holiday toys drives in San Diego County just set a new record. The 2014 Viejas Toy Drive to support the local Salvation Army exceeded its goal …raising a total of 14,702 toys.

VIEJAS TOY DRIVE "BIG REVEAL" DEC. 10

 

December 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Viejas has been working to raise 14,000 toys for the local Salvation Army’s East County Toy Drive toy drive to help families in need across our region.  Last year, Viejas collected over 12,000 toys and this year they are hoping to break that record with help from tribal members, employees at the Viejas Casino and Resort, and hundreds of local residents.

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