Kumeyaay

SUPERVISOR VOTE ON FINAL APPROVAL TO RESTORE, IMPROVE EL MONTE RIVER VALLEY LAND IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

March 6, 2021 (Lakeside) -- San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to set aside $6.44 million to restore and improve roughly 98 acres of newly acquired open space, trails and recreational facilities in Lakeside’ scenic El Monte River Valley. The board hailed the action as a “great” project for the region.

The Board previously voted Feb. 10 to spend $3.2 million to buy the property that includes important coastal sage scrub, riparian scrub and riparian forest habitats, open space and already existing equestrian and youth sports playing fields. That action came after a petition signed by thousands and a march with hundreds of residents and Kumeyaay Native Americans urged support of the acquisition.

Board members envision the land as the home for future trail connections to other County parks, and recreational facilities for the public to enjoy in addition to the open space. The land is located nearby the County’s existing Cactus County and Louis A. Stelzer parks, and its future $18 million Lakeside Equestrian Park.

POSSIBLE KUMEYAAY CREMATION SITE SPARKS NEW BID TO HALT BORDER WALL PROJECT

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Members of the Kumeyaay tribe danced at the beginning of the Women’s March rally in 2019. Photo by Chris Stone

November 27, 2020 (San Diego) - The surprise discovery of possible human remains at Kumeyaay cultural sites has sparked a new attempt to halt border wall construction — even with 14 of 15 miles of the bollards already done.

SUNBELT CELEBRATES NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH WITH NEW RELEASE AND ONLINE PROGRAMS

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Just in time for Native American Heritage Month, Sunbelt Publications announces the release of California Indian Basketry: Ikons of the Florescence by Wayne A. Thompson and Eugene S. Mejeran.  You can stream a spotlight sneak preview or pre-order a copy with 20% early bird discount.

ACLU TAKES BORDER WALL FIGHT TO SUPREME COURT, SEEKS HALT TO DESTRUCTION OF SACRED SITES, WILDLIFE AND PROTECTED SCENIC AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

 

File photo: A section of the old border fence being torn down in San Diego’s East County as work continues on new wall despite lawsuit and pandemic

 

July 23, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt construction of President Trump’s border wall. In a motion filed on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, the ACLU is urging the court to lift an earlier stay that allowed the Trump administration to divert $2.5 billion from military pay and pension funds for border wall construction that Congress had specifically denied. 

KUMEYAAY PROTEST OF BORDER WALL DRAWS HUNDREDS DOWNTOWN

By Briana Gomez

Photo: Brooke Baines, left, Manzanita nation and Cynthia Parada, right, tribal councilwoman, La Posta Band of Mission Indians

July 6, 2020 (San Diego) - Approximately 200 people showed up in front of the San Diego Hall of Justice downtown Sunday afternoon to protest a border wall being built on sacred Kumeyaay land in East County. The protest was a seated, peaceful protest organized by Warriors of Awareness in conjunction with leaders and elected officials of local indigenous nations. 

KUMEYAAY PROTEST HALTS DYNAMITE BLASTING AT BORDER WALL

 

 

By Helen Horvath

Photo, lefft: Dynamite charges set by the US Corps of Engineers

June 30, 2020 (Campo) – Yesterday, at the end of Tierra del Sol Road in the Campo area, a group of Kumeyaay-led people and supporters gathered early in the morning to protest the blasting of Kumeyaay cultural sites.

Many of these protesters, wearing masks due to COVID-19, were members of the Kumeyaay Original Peoples Alliance, American Indian Movement, and Warriors of Awareness. These groups  participated out of concern for the ancestral history and culture of the Kumeyaay tribes.  Black Lives Matter (BLM) and American Friends Service Committee also participated in the protest in a show of solidarity with local Native Americans. (Photo, right)

ALL EAST COUNTY CASINOS TO CLOSE MARCH 21-31 DUE TO COVID-19

Barona, Campo, Jamul, Sycuan, and Viejas Jointly Announce Casino Closures in Response to Coronavirus crisis

Source: Kumeyaay Nation

March 18, 2020 (San Diego's East County)  — Tribal government leaders of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Jamul Indian Village, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians today jointly announced that they are temporarily closing their casinos amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) beginning on Friday, March 20 at noon through the end of the month.

The Tribes are united in this decision to close for the health and well-being of the community, their guests and approximately 9,000 employees. Despite this closure, it is their hope that they can continue to provide emergency services for their respective communities.

 

In Campo, the gas station and convenience store will remain open for the convenience of residents.

SAN DIEGO'S HISTORIC PLACES: MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO KUMEYAAY

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  Ewa’a on patio of Mission Trails Regional Park visitors center

December 8, 2019 (San Diego) - There are some 40 miles of trails in Mission Trails Regional Park along the San Diego River and surrounding grasslands and mountains. Hikers can view Kumeyaay and Spanish archaeological sites, possibly encounter some endangered animals and some dangerous ones, and be introduced to plants with characteristics so interesting they almost have personalities.

SAN DIEGO'S HISTORIC PLACES: MISSION TRAILS VISITORS CENTER PROVIDES EXHIBITS ON KUMEYAAY LIFE

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  Kumeyaay elders by T.J. Dixon and James Nelson

December 8, 2019 (San Diego) - The Visitors and Interpretive Center of Mission Trails Regional Park is low-tech compared to razzmatazz commercial attractions like Disneyland or Sea World, but it effectively teaches about Native American life and about nature. Its exhibits appeal to a full range of age groups with a variety of learning styles.

PASSAGES: TOM HYDE, VIEJAS TRIBAL ELDER AND LAST ORIGINAL RESERVATION MEMBER, 1927-2019

 

March 20, 2019 (Viejas Reservation) -- Tom Hyde, revered tribal elder, passed from this earth and his beloved Viejas community, March 14, 2019, at 92 years of age.  He is survived by a large family of 200, both blood and chosen.  Born Thomas James Hyde to Prudencia and Valentine Hyde, of El Capitan Village, he’s the last of the original Viejas Reservation members, and last to have personally witnessed destruction of El Capitan Village, at age five. Thus, he began life as a bridge between the past and future of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

ANTHROPOLOGIST TO SPEAK ON KUMEYAAY ETHNOBOTANY AUG. 19 IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

August 6, 2018 (Alpine) – The Alpine Historical Society and Alpine Woman’s Club invite you to a potluck luncheon on Sunday, August 19 at 2156 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine. The lunch and general meeting starts at 1 p.m. with program at 2 p.m. featuring anthropologist/author Michael Wilken-Robertson, who will speak on the interdependence between native peoples and native plants in Southern California and Baja.

See attached flyer for information on reservations and details.

NATIVE FOODS CLASS APRIL 7 AT BARONA CULTURAL CENTER

 

East County News Service

March 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Shawii, or acorn “mush,” was one of the most important foods for Kumeyaay/Diegueño People for thousands of years. The long process for preparing this staple food has been passed down from generation to generation.  On Saturday, April 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Martha Rodriquez (San Jose de la Zorra) will teach a class on how to make this rare treat at the Barona Cultural Center and Museum.

VIEJAS CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF THE WILLOWS HOTEL AND SPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

 

February 9, 2018 (Alpine) – At the grand opening last week of The Willows Hotel & Spa, an adults-only luxury high-rise  at the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, located in San DIego's inland region, tribal chairman Robert Welch reflected told the crowd to "put on your sunglasses, because the future of Viejas has never looked brighter!”

The entire facility is reserved for adults only (families may stay at the original Viejas Hotel nearby). Each suite is sumptuously appointed and attention to architectural and design details are evident in craftsmanship throughout.

The Willows features a tower with 159 suites, a saltwater swimming pool, spa and salon facilities, restaurants, fitness center, and business center.

ATKINS BILLS TO PROTECT SAN DIEGO RIVER, FUND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVANCE IN LEGISLATURE

 

View a video on the San Diego River Conservancy’s report to the Legislature

March 18, 2017 (Sacramento) -- This week, two bills authored by Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) cleared key policy committees and moved on to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. One wil help enhance portions of the San Diego River in East County. The other provides funding to build affordable housing.

SYCUAN OPENS CULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER AND MUSEUM

 

Centralized collection of Kumeyaay artifacts, curated museum pieces and extensive scholarly collection housed for research, education and outreach

Source: Sycuan

December 23, 2016 (Sycuan Indian Reservation) -- Initiated with traditional Kumeyaay Bird Singers and Dancers, native blessings and a traditional sage smudging purification, the Sycuan Tribe unveiled the Sycuan Cultural Resource Center and Museum to a large crowd and rave reviews earlier this month.  The new facility centralizes and secures an enormous amount of ancient Kumeyaay artifacts, museum quality collections, and a vast array of scholarly research featuring the famous “Shipek Collection” of Kumeyaay archives.

KUMEYAAY PROTEST “DESECRATION” AT NAVY SEAL BASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Ozzie Monge

September 1,2016 (San Diego’s East County) –  Native Americans held a protest Wednesday outside theNavy’s new SEAL training center on Coronado over desecration of  an area  where  ancient Indian remains were found. 

The 12 tribes of the Kumeyaay Nation have asked the Navy to move the construction boundary to preserve the site where tribal members believe more remains are likely located, but so far the Navy has refused. 

“To us, the sight of those machines brutally ripping our ancestors from the ground is no different than it would be for those very same Navy personnel to watch bulldozers rip through Arlington National Cemetery, scattering the bodies of fallen soldiers carelessly under the metal treads,” Cynthia Parada, Councilwoman of the La Posta Band of Mission Indians, wrote on a Facebook page for the Save Our Ancestors from Desecration event.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE AGREEMENT WITH JAMUL TRIBE OVER CASINO IMPACTS MITIGATION

 

By Leon Thompson

April 22, 2016 (Jamul) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has voted to approve a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jamul Indian Village of California.  The agreement will memorialize negotiations regarding the construction and operation of the tribes Hollywood Casino Jamul set to open this summer.  The agreement passed on a 3-1 vote, with Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob opposed and Supervisor Greg Cox absent.

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.

COWLES MTN. WINTER SOLSTICE WALKS DEC. 20-22

 

December 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - The Mission Trails Regional Park Trail Guides will lead pre-dawn hikes to the area of the solstice observatory on Cowles Mountain on the 20th and 22nd of December. The Canyoneers of the San Diego Natural History Museum will lead the hike on the 21st.

HEART OF GOLD, NERVES OF STEEL: KUMEYAAY ELDER CHARLIE BROWN

 

By Miriam Raftery and Leon Thompson

Photo: Charlie Brown, right, honored as a Healthcare Hero in 2009 for his work with the Burn Institute

November 14, 2014 (Alpine) – It takes courage to jump out of an airplane into a raging forest fire—and a big heart to work on behalf of burn victims and other charitable causes.  Kumeyaay elder Charlie Brown has done all of these things and more.  He’s been honored as a Healthcare Hero, nominated by the Burn Institute. He's also lived through tumultous changes that swept across Native American reservations in East County as a result of tribal gaming.

This month, he sat down with East County Magazine Tribal Beat reporter Leon Thompson for an exclusive interview, reflecting on his career as a U.S. Forest Service hot shot, his philanthropic efforts, and the dramatic changes that the Kumeyaay nation in San Diego County has seen as a result of Indian gaming. 

Listen online now to our exclusive interview with Charlie Brown, originally aired earlier this month on the East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ with our Tribal Beat host, Leon Thompson:

Part 1:

http://k001.kiwi6.com/hotlink/0w48zx7ox0/TribalBeatCharlie_Brown_Part_1-revised_complete.mp3

Part 2:

http://k001.kiwi6.com/hotlink/z11socps5p/TribalBeat-CharleBrown-Part2-final.mp3

NATIVE AMERICAN ARTISTS SOUGHT FOR ARTWORK ON ANZA HISTORIC TRAIL: DEC. 31 DEADLINE

 

November 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The California Indian Heritage Center Foundation is calling for Native American artists to produce new visual artwork that shares the Native Californian perspective of the Anza Expedition of 1775-76 and its impact. The visual art will enter the collection of the California Indian Heritage Center Foundation for display and interpretation. It will also be used by the National Park Service for education and interpretation of multiple perspectives of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.

ANCIENT KUMEYAAY ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND AT ECO-SUBSTATION SITE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—Two agave roasting pits  found recently in Jacumba Hot Springs have been carbon-dated, indicating Kumeyaay Native American occupation in the Jacumba region dates back at least 9,000 years.  Termed “an astounding recent archaeological find” by the Imperial Valley Desert Museum in Ocotillo, the agave roasting pits were unearthed during construction of SDG&E’s ECO substation project in San Diego’s East County.

Howard Cook, chair of Jacumba Hot Springs Sponsor Group (the town's advisory planning board) believes the find should have impacts on future develoment projects pending in the area. 

“This is highly relevant to the proposed Jacumba Solar project located next door and sharing roads with the under construction Eco project,” he told East County Magazine. “Certainly this calls for a cultural monitor and perhaps some preliminary excavating of the proposed site by [an] historical society and Native American historical/cultural experts."

PRESERVING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE

 

By Grey Feathers

Barona Cultural Center, Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside

July 26, 2014 (Barona) - To document, describe and explain the complex relationships between cultures and the uses of plants is the practice of ethnobotany.  This includes the use of plants as food, clothing, currency, ritual, medicine, dye, construction, cosmetics and more.The Barona Cultural Center and Museum and the Barona Indian Charter School have partnered together to practice ethnobotany.

YOUR SONG, YOUR STORY: SYMPHONY OFFERS FREE PERFORMANCES IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES

 

Programs July 15 at Kroc Theatre, July 16 at Embarcadero Marina Park South, and July 17 at Lincoln High School

By Miriam Raftery

Concert details and RSVP for free tickets:  www.yoursongyourstory.org

Listen Friday at 5 p.m. on KNSJ 89.1 FM to our radio interview with Leonor Perez, artistic projects manager, San Diego Symphony

July 10, 2014 (San Diego)—The San Diego Symphony teams up with local artists and Academy Award-winner Bill Conti (composer of the themes for Rocky and James Bond movies) for a series of free performances in disadvantaged communities. “Your song, your story” is the culmination of a year of outreach in which the Symphony received over 300 submissions from local artists, chose 18 and asked Conti to create a composition inspired by the works celebrating diverse cultural perspectives.

The shows highlight the diversity of San Diego neighborhoods – and each will include a block party celebration complete with free food and entertainment. Performers include many East County groups, such as the Kumeyaay Youth Bird Singers, Soaring Eagles, and Luay Yousif of St. Peters Chaldean Catholic Church.

SYCUAN AWARDED 2014 EMMY FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN TELEVISION

Read our prior story about the debut of Sycuan's documentary

Hear our exclusive interview with Sycuan Chairman Daniel Tucker during the debut: click here



June 30, 2014 (El Cajon) – Sycuan’s “Our People. Our Culture. Our History” film has been honored with a 2014 EMMY® Award, Pacific Southwest region, for outstanding achievement in television. The acclaimed documentary has also received a prestigious Gold CINDY® Award in the Regional Broadcast category and a Special Achievement Award for Direction and Production Design.

The 48-minute program tells the story of Sycuan and the Kumeyaay Nation through the words of its people - Tribal elders, Council leaders, family members and the next generation. Augmented by incisive observations from Native American historians and a range of subject matter experts, this documentary follows the incredible 12,500 year journey of a People who has survived against overwhelming odds to become a sovereign, prosperous nation who continues to honor its past while building its future and positively impacting their community.

PRESERVING THE PAST AT CENTRO CULTURAL AND KUMEYAAY MUSEUM IN TECATE

 

By Mimi Pollack

July 1, 2014 (Tecate)--There are only 70 to 80 people left in Baja California who speak Kumeyaay, according to Michael Wilken Robertson, an anthropologist who also specializes in ethno-botany. When Wilken-Robertson first started his journey studying the indigenous people of Baja California, he was told there were no indigenous cultures there.  

He believed something had to be done to preserve these ancient cultures and traditions before they were lost, especially those of the Kumeyaay [Kumiai] people. The Kumiai are the indigenous people on both sides of the border, starting from Carlsbad on the United States side, down to the Santo Tomas Valley in Baja California, Mexico.

The Museo Communitario de Tecate [Tecate Community Museum] and the Kumiai wing is a good first step towards documenting the life and history of these people. It is part of the Centro Cultural [Cultural Center] in Tecate, Baja California.

BUILDING A FUTURE BY HONORING THE PAST: DOCUMENTARY REVEALS POIGNANT HISTORY OF THE KUMEYAAY NATION

 

To hear our exclusive interview with Sycuan Chairman Daniel Tucker, click here

By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2013 (El Cajon ) – History books in California schools teach a view of our past that focuses on Spanish missionaries , conquistadors and other Europeans while omitting the Kumeyaay Native American people who  had lived here for thousands of generations before the first settlers came.  A new documentary produced by the Sycuan band of the Kumeyaay nation aims to change that.

Our People, Our Culture, Our History  premiered this week and will be distributed to local schools.  The film reveals a side of San Diego history that most area residents have never been taught—the exploitation and near extermination of the Kumeyaay people.  This powerful film also documents a triumph of the human spirit, detailing the Sycuan band’s struggle to survive and thrive as a new generation rediscovers a heritage nearly lost.

SYCUAN TO PREMIERE POWERFUL YET POIGNANT DOCUMENTARY



Production Details Kumeyaay History and Sycuan’s Evolution in the Region



November 6, 2013 (El Cajon)-- On Friday morning, Sycuan will debut a historical documentary that chronicles its 12,000-year existence in the present-day San Diego/Northern Baja region. It’s taken 16 months to produce and features local Native American anthropologists, historians and curators who help weave and trace the Kumeyaay ancestry. It also contains biographical accounts that make it an even more compelling and thought provoking piece.

“It really shows our history from a perspective that most people have never heard of, it goes beyond anything in textbooks and accounts ever written or told about the Kumeyaay and Sycuan,” said Daniel Tucker, Chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.

CALTRANS BUILDING TO BE DEMOLISHED AT SITE OF ANCIENT KUMEYAAY VILLAGE

 

By Paul  Kruze

July 23, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- After nearly a decade of wrangling between the State of California and Caltrans, Old Town State Park is set to be expanded and revitalized with approval of the new California state budget, which includes $436,000 in bond money allocated to demolish the old Caltrans building on Taylor Street.  Most significantly, the abandoned 115,735 square foot Caltrans building sits on top of an ancient Kumeyaay village which allegedly dates back to 500 AD, and which was once a thriving Mexican settlement.

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