By Miriam Raftery
September 12, 2010 (Sycuan) – Tina Santiago, a member of the Conshatta tribe from Louisiana, weaves a basket of willow reeds while onlookers browse her wares at the Sycuan Pow-Wow in El Cajon. “It takes about 25 hours to make this basket,” she said of a finely-crafted, finished basket priced at $250.
Other vendors offered hand-made items to suit more modest budgets, such as malachite earrings for $10. I found a spectacular turquoise and purple gemstone necklace for $40, picked up unique gifts for family members, and also enjoyed watching dazzling dance competitions.
September 9, 2010 (El Cajon) – Native American dancers, drummers, and bird singers from across the nation will convene at the Sycuan reservation this weekend for the 21st annual Sycuan Pow-Wow. The three-day event (September 10, 11 and 12) will also feature Indian foods, Native American arts and crafts, and informational booths. The pow-wow is free and open to the public.
By Miriam Raftery
September 5, 2010 (Lakeside) –At Barona’s 40th annual powwow, Barona tribal member and community leader Bonnie La Chappa grilled tortillas at her family’s campsite in preparation for a family feast.
“Every powwow takes on its own culture, depending on the reservation,” she said. “For me, it’s a social gathering—everyone coming together. The dancers come here once a year from everywhere,” including relatives from as far away as Oklahoma, she noted. “It’s about renewing old friendships and making new friends.”
The Powwow continues today and tonight, with a grand procession at 7 p.m., dance competitions, Native American jewelery, arts and crafts, and more.
September 3, 2010 (Lakeside) – The public is invited to attend the 40th annual Barona PowWow. The event, which has free admission, will be held September 3-5 at the Barona Baseball Field. More than $60,000 in prize money will be awarded in Native American dance competitions. The powwow, which attracts competitors from all over North America, also features vendors selling Native American arts, crafts, and jewelry.
Club Barona members can save 50 percent on entrees at Casino restaurants throughout September
August 19, 2010 (Lakeside) –Barona Resort & Casino won’t leave its guests hungry for sweet specials this September. Throughout the month, Barona is offering its Club Barona members the opportunity to receive 50 percent off any entrée at six of its signature restaurants. Joining Club Barona is free.
Event Production and Management Company Introduces New Brand Identity: VE&P
August 20, 2010 (San Diego) – Building on 17 years of experience producing and managing hundreds of events annually at Viejas Casino, Viejas Entertainment & Production is taking its services to the next level as VE&P.
Formally changing its name to VE&P, the company will use its staff of more than 40 seasoned professionals and inventory of top-end equipment to produce and manage off-site events for clients throughout Southern California.
By Miriam Raftery
August 12, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes yesterday granted an injunction requested by the state Native American Heritage Commission. The injunction requires Padre Municipal Water District to cease construction at the site of a planned water project in Lakeside where human bone fragments identified as ancient Native Americans and artifacts were found during preliminary construction for a proposed pump station, 2.5 million gallon reservoir, flow control facility and pipelines near Lake Jennings.
August 3, 2010 (Alpine) --Viejas Casino and Fox 5 San Diego rolled out the Viejas Cash Cube last week to help raise money for San Diego area charities. The event kicked off a month-long “Cool Cash” promotion at the Casino, where over $1,000,000 is up for grabs in August.
Bill enables tribal police to enforce federal laws, protects Native American rape victims
4 San Diego legislators support law; Rep. Hunter votes “no”
By Miriam Raftery
July 30, 2010 (Washington D.C.) - “If the Tribal Law and Order Act had existed 16 years ago, my story would be very different,” Lisa Marie Lyotte said, choking back tears in a White House press conference today. In 1994, Lyotte was raped and beaten on the Sioux Indian reservation where she lived; her children witnessed the attack. Tribal police had a suspect, but federal authorities refused to prosecute.
Native American women suffer violent crime at a rate more than triple the national average; one in three Indian women is raped during her lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Calling the situation “an assault on our national conscience,” President Barack Obama today fulfilled a campaign promise made to tribal leaders by signing the Tribal Law and Order Act into law.
East County News Service
June 24, 2010 (Santee) – California Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown today filed a lawsuit on behalf of the California Native American Heritage Commission against Padre Dam Municipal Water District and its board of directors. The suit seeks a permanent injunction on construction of a proposed pump station, 2.5 million gallon reservoir, flow control facility and pipelines near Lake Jennings.
INDIAN HEALTH COUNCIL CELEBRATES 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH OPEN HOUSE FESTIVITIES & FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS JUNE 25
June 24, 2010 (Valley Center) -- The Indian Health Council, Inc., (IHC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary June 25 with a festive Open House, featuring health screenings, raffle prizes and giveaways, tours of the facility, and a Fun Zone for children that includes a bike rodeo. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the council headquarters, 50100 Golsh Road, Valley Center (on the Rincon Reservation).
Viejas calls on District to negotiate in good faith to protect newly discovered Native American burial ground
By Miriam Raftery
June 24, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for Friday in San Diego Superior Court has been postponed to July 23, under an agreement reached between Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
CA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE THREATENS LAWSUIT AGAINST PADRE DAM AFTER WATER DISTRICT DEFIES NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION, CONTINUES CONSTRUCTION AT SITE DEEMED SACRED
Community leaders testify on Viejas’ behalf, ask Padre’s water board to find alternative solution;
Viejas to ask judge on Friday to extend injunction
By Miriam Raftery
June 24, 2010 (Santee) – Improper. Disrespectful. Inappropriate. Embarassing. Those were some of the terms community leaders used at yesterday’s Padre Dam Municipal Water Board hearing to describe the Board’s refusal to halt construction at a planned reservoir and pipeline site near Lake Jennings.
“I’ve just come from the site,” Leon Thompson testified, drawing an audible gasp from the crow when he added that he shot video showing “desecration continuing” of areas near a circle of rocks marking grave sites. View video here.
Declares proposed reservoir site a sanctified Native American cemetery
By Miriam Raftery
June 17, 2010 (San Diego) – At a hearing in San Diego yesterday, the state's Native American Heritage Commission declare the site of a proposed reservoir and pumping station to be a sanctified Native American cemetery. The Commission called for the site to be protective and ordered a halt all construction.
If construction is not stopped, the Commission urged the California Attorney General to file suit against Padre Dam Municipal Water District.
BARONA TRIBE AWARDS MOUNT MIGUEL HIGH SCHOOL $5,000 GRANT FOR BOOKS WITH FOCUS ON STUDENTS’ PRESENT AND FUTURE
Since Program Launch, Barona Has Invested Nearly $1 Million to Schools Statewide
(SAN DIEGO) – June 14, 2010 – Recently, staff and students of Mount Miguel High School joined 78th District Assemblymember Marty Block to accept a $5,000 education grant from the Barona Band of Mission Indians as part of the Barona Education Grant program. The check was presented by Barona Tribal Councilwoman Beth Glasco.
June 12, 2010 (Lakeside) -- Mark your calendars for the 40th annual Barona Pow-Wow on September 3-5. Over $60,000 in prize money will be given, and there will be contest dancing. All drums and dancers are welcome. Admission and camping is free. For more information call the Barona Tribal Office, (619)443-6612 ext 120.
IT'S A DEAL: BARONA RESORT & CASINO SIGNS MARKETING AGREEMENT WITH VENETIAN AND PALAZZO IN LAS VEGAS
Discounts on hotel rooms and suites, restaurants and more available at all properties
SAN DIEGO (June 11, 2010) – San Diego’s Barona Resort & Casino is betting that its new marketing relationship with two world-class resorts, The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, will be a big winner with its exclusive Club Barona members as well as draw a full-house of new Las Vegas casino guests to San Diego.
June 10, 2010 (Campo) – The Campo Band of the Kumeyaay Nation’s general council has voted to rescind lease agreements and terminate the Campo Sanitary Landfill Project, ending a decade-long battle by neighboring community members seeking to halt the project.
Season kicks off June 16 with Monsters vs. Aliens, wraps up with Avatar
June 10, 2010 (Alpine) — The Viejas Outlet Center officially kicks off its free “Movies in the Park” series on June 16 with a showing of the hit movie Monsters vs. Aliens. The season concludes this year with Avatar, the blockbuster that set new worldwide sales records.
Recent discovery at proposed reservoir site “unparalleled” in San Diego County
“This site is sacred to our people, and it is culturally and historically significant for all residents of San Diego County and southern California.” – Viejas tribal chairman Bobby Barrett
“Every resident in Blossom Valley, Crest, Harbison Valley and Alpine is a stakeholder for fire safety and economic growth in their communities.” = Mike Uhrhammer, communications, director, Padre Dam
By Miriam Raftery
June 8, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians has been granted a restraining order in the Superior Court of California-San Diego County to halt the Padre Dam Municipal Water District from "further desecrating a recently-unearthed Kumeyaay burial and ceremonial ground," a statement issued by Viejas announced. Padre Dam Municipal Water District is constructing a new reservoir and pumping station at the site, which is on approximately two acres south of I-8 near Lake Jennings Park Road and Old Highway 80.
By Miriam Raftery
May 30, 2010 (Lakeside) – Shahuuk Matwam Nyuk Pekwilly. Ten years have passed, proclaims the newest exhibit at the Barona Cultural Center and Museum in Lakeside. The new exhibition, created by curator Laurie Egan, features a giant scrapbook with pages highlighting the facility’s first decade. The scrapbook includes displays on development of collections, exhibitions, and classes as well as the people--donors, volunteers, and elders--who helped make the center to preserve Native American culture and heritage a reality.
TRIBAL LEADER TO ALPINE SCHOOL NAMING COMMITTEE: REAGAN SHOWED “OUTRIGHT CONTEMPT FOR NATIVE AMERICANS”
May 19, 2010 (Alpine) – Short of smoke signals, Viejas Vice Chairman Robert “Cita” Welch couldn’t have delivered a stronger message to members of a committee appointed by the Grossmont Union High School Board to recommend names for a planned new high school in Alpine. Despite a “long and proud tradition” of working with the District, Viejas has "increasing concerns" over a proposal to name the school after Ronald Reagan, Welch said.
"Your actions WILL have an impact on our future relationship with the district," he told committee members, then added that former President Reagan “is NOT well-regarded in Indian Country. At best he didn’t really care too much about Native Americans. At worst—and in some well-documented cases—he showed outright contempt for Native Americans. This should matter to each of you."
May 17, 2010 (El Cajon)--Sycuan Casino has made a $20,000 contribution to the El Cajon Community Development Corporation to further the organization’s economic development efforts in Downtown El Cajon. The firm’s donation will support two of the El Cajon CDC’s most popular community programs: the free weekly Cajon Classic Cruise car show which commences June 30, and the free weekly Concerts on the Green which commences June 25.
Diamond Sponsor Viejas also honored with special award
May 16, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) – Huindreds turned out at the Cuyamaca College Foundation dinner last night to honor past presidents and raise money for student scholarships.
“This place has grown up. It’s a wonderful, beautiful campus that is fulfilling its role in our community,” said former Dr. Samuel Ciccati, one of four former presidents present at the event, titled “Shine On.”
May 18, 2010 (Campo) – At least ten children have been injured in a collision this morning between a school bus and a light pole in the parking lot at Golden Acorn Casino on the Campo Indian reservation. Patients with injuries ranging from mild to moderate have been transported to Grossmont and Alvarado hospitals.
PRO FOOTBALL STARS TO PARTICIPATE IN "BOWLING FOR HELMETS" JUNE 5 AT VIEJAS BOWL: PROCEEDS TO HELP PROTECT ALPINE POP WARNER PLAYERS
May 16, 2010 (Alpine) – Football helmet construction hasn’t changed for decades. But now, new helmets contain air bag-type cushions, providing better protection from head injuries.
Pro football players Brandyn Dembrowski of the Chargers and Eugene Amano of the Tennessee Titans will participate in a“Bowling for Helmets” fundraiser will be held at the Viejas Bowl (located in the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine) on Saturday, June 5 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Funds will be used to purchase helmets to protect kids in Alpine’s Pop Warner Football League.
BARONA RESORT & CASINO BECOMES 1ST TRIBAL RESORT IN U.S. TO EARN LEED™ GOLD CERTIFICATION FROM U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL
April 16, 2010 (San Diego)-- Barona Resort & Casino announced yesterday that it has achieved Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED™-EB) rating system. Barona is the first tribal resort in the nation to earn the internationally recognized certification for the design and operation of high performance green buildings.
April 15, 2010 (El Cajon)--The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians has made a donation valued at approximately $10,000 to the El Cajon Community Development Corporation to further the organization’s economic development efforts in Downtown El Cajon. The Viejas donation was made in support of the El Cajon CDC’s annual “It’s 5:00 Somewhere” fundraiser party held April 16, 2010 in Downtown El Cajon.
By Miriam Raftery
April 9, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A relief effort is being mounted here to bring emergency aid to the Cucapa Indian nation, just ten miles from the epicenter of the 7.2 earthquake that devastated their homeland between Mexicali and San Felipe.
March through May is the fishing season for these indigenous people, who rely on fishing to sustain them throughout the year. But the Easter earthquake severely damaged roads that the Cucapa use to fish on the Colorado Delta, forcing them to end their season early, East County Magazine has learned. Tribal members have lost their livelihoods as well as their homes, roads, electricity and water.
Viejas pledges challenge grant to match community donations
April 14, 2010 (Alpine) – “This has been a dream of ours—to honor or veterans with the great respect and admiration they all deserve,” says Dan Foster, chairperson of the Alpine Veterans Wall of Honor committee, which is raising funds to create a monument to Mountain Empire area military veterans. “It is their sacrifice and commitment that has kept our country strong. We can give a little of our time and money to build a permanent place where we express our thanks and appreciation. It’s worth it—and none of us should hesitate in showing our gratitude.”