Tribal Beat

Exploring the lives of East County's Tribal Community

VIEJAS HOSTS STATE’S LARGEST BBQ COOKING CHAMPIONSHIP OCT. 17

 
Teams from around the country cook up a good time at free “Smokin’ in the Park” Festival

 

October 14, 2009 (Alpine) – Looking to spice up your week?  Viejas Casino & Outlet Center will host California’s largest BBQ cooking championship again this year in one of East County's most popular free events of the season. The “Smokin’ in the Park” BBQ Championship & Festival (www.viejasbbq.com) is back for its fifth year…bigger and better than ever. This year, more than 60 teams will compete for $23,000 in cash and prizes, making it the largest competition of its kind in the state.

VIEJAS & RADIO STATION MAGIC 92.5 STAGED HUGE BLOCK PARTY

Thousands enjoyed free concert, car show and kids fun zone

 

Story and Photos by Leon Thompson

Viejas (September 26, 2009) Thousands of enthusiastic rock music fans of all ages convened in the parking lot of Viejas Casino to hear a free concert co-sponsored by radio station Magic 92.5 on Saturday, October 3. The event, new this year, was clearly a success—as evidenced by a line of cars backed up to the freeway exit by mid-afternoon.

The event featured attractions for the whole family including free rides in the fun zone for the young and young at heart, a vintage and custom car show. A troop of young spray-can outlaws fascinated the crowd by transforming a blank wall into living art that seemed to jump from the wall. (The artists, who declined to have their faces photographed, honed their skills from years of practice in places not so welcoming as here.)

VIEJAS HOSTS FIRE PREVENTION DAY THURS. OCT. 8

 

October 5, 2009 (Alpine) – On Thursday, over 250 school children will join firefighters, tribal representatives, Smokey the Bear and Sparky the firedog from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for hands-on learning about the importance of fire safety. The event, held at Viejas Recreation Center in Alpine, is being held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week.

WOW! 2 NATIVE AMERICAN POW-WOWS TO DRAW THOUSANDS TO EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery
 

September 3, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Thousands of tribal members from across the United States as well as many local participants and spectators are expected to flock to the Barona and Syucan reservations in East County during the first two weekends in September.

VIEJAS ADDS A "STRIKING" NEW DEVELOPMENT

 

 

 

VIEJAS BOWL continues Viejas Outlet Center’s transformation into “lifestyle center”

August 27, 2009 (Alpine) – Viejas announced plans today for a new, boutique bowling center, to be called Viejas Bowl, at the Viejas Outlet Center, across from the award winning Viejas Casino.

FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA, KUMEYAAY KIDS REDISCOVER THEIR HERITAGE

 

 

By Marisa Kezirian

 

Photos by Miriam Raftery
 

August 16, 2009 (La Jolla) – It was a day filled with education and excitement for Native American youngsters enrolled in Camp Heyaay Coome Kooknumch, which means “The Elders Long Ago Tell Our Stories.”

 

CAMPO BAND OF KUMEYAAY INDIANS RECEIVE STIMULUS FUNDS FOR CLEAN DRINKING WATER

 

July 15, 2009 (San Diego)--Congressman Bob Filner announced that the Campo Band of Kumeyaay Indians, along with six other Indian Tribes in California, will have improved access to vital water services through funds awarded from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the stimulus bill.

 

A HOWLING GOOD TIME: VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER WELCOMES DOGS & OWNERS FOR A DAY OF FUN JUNE 6th

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — June 1, 2009 — For the first time, Viejas Outlet Center is excited to welcome all dogs to the center for a “doggone” day of fun. On Saturday, June 6 Viejas will host the 5th Annual Novelty Fun Dog Show and the Service Dog Celebration.

WARNER SPRINGS PROGRAM TEACHES KIDS AGRICULTURAL SKILLS, PRESERVES WESTERN & NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE

By Miriam Raftery

June 1, 2009 (Warner Springs)—“It’s always fun when we get an adult to volunteer to be the cow,” Sherri Freeman quipped, then deftly lassoed a running parent. Nearby, youngsters saddled up on a bucking mechanical horse, ground acorns, studied history of the Butterfield Stage Coach, hiked with an ecologist, visited farm animals, and learned about wild herbs from a Native American healer.

Watch our slideshow

View our videos! Acorn-grinding lesson; teacher lassos a parent “cow”

VIEJAS COOLS DOWN WITH FREE “POWER OF NIGHTFIRE” SHOW—AND AN INTERACTIVE WATER FOUNTAIN

ALPINE, Calif. — May 28, 2009 — As the weather begins to heat up and children get out of school, Viejas offers a place to beat the heat with an array family-friendly events. The annual Power of Nightfire show will feature performances at 9 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday, until Labor Day. The unique performance intrigues the audience with water fountains, lasers, pyrotechnics, special effects and intricate choreography. The show tells the story of an ancient Kumeyaay Indian who saved his people from the evil “water spirit” and brings the valuable water back to his village.

THEY'VE GOT RHYTHM: FROM TRIBAL DRUMS TO DIDGERIDOOS AT SAGE & SONGBIRDS FESTIVAL

“I had a dream that I would have a drum,” recalled Neka’asawe, a drum maker who was among the many vendors displaying indigenous crafts at the Sage & Songbirds Festival at Viejas Outlet Center in early May. “I went into a sweat lodge and prayed. A spirit told me I would make many drums.”

VIEJAS BAND OF KUMEYAAY INDIANS FILES APPEAL OVER POWERLINK

Reprinted with permission from East County Communities Action Coalition (ECCAC)

May 6, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--On March 23, 2009, the Viejas Bank of Kumeyaay Indians filed their appeal against the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) challenging the agency’s “Record of Decision” on the Sunrise Powerlink.

HOT TOPIC: VIEJAS HOSTS WILDFIRE FIGHTING DRILLS FOR 60 FIRE PROTECTION AGENCIES

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2009 (Viejas Indian Reservation)—Preparing for fire season, fire
engine crews from more than 60 fire protection agencies donned full safety
gear and participated in structure protection drills, wildland hose lays, pumping
evolutions and other exercises. Aerial resources, including helicopters, practiced
coordinated fire attacks with ground crews under simulated fire conditions.
The eighth annual event was hosted this year at the Viejas Indian Reservation
east of Alpine on April 18, 21, 22 and 23.

BIRD SINGERS AND BASKET WEAVERS CELEBRATE OPENING OF NATIVE AMERICAN MUSEUM IN WARNER SPRINGS

By Miriam Raftery

Bird dancers demonstrate hand-made gourds at Warner Springs Native American museum.

--A broken song beneath the snow, the echo of a soaring joy, a shape in the mist, a touch, in the rain in wilderness you come again. You tell us what we used to know. You speak for all the free wild things whose ways were ours when the world had wings.—Bev Doolittle

April 20, 2009 (Warner Springs)- Inscribed on a wall in the new Outdoor Academic Experience (O.A.E.) Native American Museum in Warner Springs, the quote above reflects the rich cultural heritage and traditions of local Cahuilla, Luiseño, Cupeño and Kumeyaay tribes preserved and displayed here. To commemorate the museum’s grand opening on April 13, a trio of Native American bird singers performed traditional songs for visiting Girl Scouts from Troop 3125 and demonstrated gourd rattles which they crafted by hand.

LA MESA CHAMBER MIXER AT VIEJAS DRAWS CROWD

La Mesa Chamber of Commerce President Mary England and Viejas spokesman Charlie Brown

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2009 (Alpine) —“We don’t just hold mixers. We make cash registers ring,” La Mesa Chamber of Commerce president Mary England told a crowd of approximately 100 members and guests at a mixer hosted by the Chamber at the Dreamcatcher Lounge in Viejas Casino. England presented a plaque to Viejas, which donated dinners for all Chamber members and guests.

VIEJAS TRIBAL MEMBER RECEIVES HEALTH HERO AWARD

 

Charlie Brown is honored for his ongoing contribution to the Burn Institute.

March 23, 2009 (San Diego, Calif.) - Charlie Brown, a Viejas Tribal Member and Director of Viejas Community Relations, was awarded the Health Hero Award by the Combined Health Agencies for his contributions to the local health industry and community activism.

VIEJAS HOSTS INTER-TRIBAL BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

1st place Barona team

March 17, 2009 (San Diego) — The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians hosted the Inter-Tribal Sports (ITS) Basketball Championships on the Viejas Reservation on Sunday, March 15. The sports league, consisting of teams from 16 different tribes or tribal organizations in the Southern California area, provides athletic opportunities along with native cultural and spiritual development.

SDSU AND VIEJAS BAND OF KUMEYAAY INDIANS AGREE ON NAMING RIGHTS TO SDSU ARENA: ON CAMPUS VENUE TO BE CALLED VIEJAS ARENA STARTING JULY 1, 2009

March 17, 2009 (San Diego)--The on campus sports and entertainment venue at San Diego State University will be renamed Viejas Arena, under a new agreement between the university and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the two announced today. "We're very pleased that the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, who are such an important member of the San Diego community, has decided to partner with us," said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. "SDSU's arena is one of the top sports and entertainment venues in San Diego County.

VIEJAS ENTERPRISES RECEIVES BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD

March 3, 2009 (San Diego)--At an inaugural celebration, Viejas Enterprises was awarded the East County Regional Business of the Year by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. The first "Bet on the Chamber" celebration, held at Viejas' DreamCatcher Lounge, recognized over 20 outstanding East County businesses.The Chamber annually recognizes businesses throughout East County that have made a substantial contribution to the community.

 

WOW- IT'S A POW-WOW! SAT. FEB. 28 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

February 23, 2009 (El Cajon)--The 21st annual Grossmont College Pow-Wow, a celebration of American Indian culture, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the college's Student Center. Admission is free. The day-long event, which begins at noon with gourd dancing and giveaways, features American Indian dancers and drummers. Vendors will sell American Indian cuisine, clothing, art and jewelry. The Grand Entry, a procession of about 100 dancers, begins at 6 p.m.

COOL!  OUTDOOR ICE RINK OPENS AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER: ICE SHOW, TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY NOV. 22

By Miriam Raftery

November
17, 2008 (Alpine) —
Looking for the coolest place in East County?

The largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California is now open for the holiday
season at Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine. 

SYCUAN DONATES $300,000 TO SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL AT FUNDRAISING GALA

Event Raises More Than $600,000 for New Robotic Surgery Program

November 15, 2008 (SAN DIEGO)  — Grossmont Hospital Foundation
hosted its Carnevale di Venezia Annual Gala on Saturday, Nov. 1, at
the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina to help raise money for Sharp Grossmont
Hospital.  The event netted more than $600,000 dollars, which will support
the hospital’s new da Vinci® Robotic Surgery program.

The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation formally presented the hospital with
a $300,000 contribution during the event, as the tribe’s chairman, Daniel
J. Tucker, made the announcement.

Native American News

A FULL PARTNERSHIP WITH INDIAN COUNTRY

By Barack Obama

October 24, 2008 (Indian Country Today) Washington D.C. --
For 20 months now, I’ve traveled this country, often talking about how
the needs of the American people are going unmet by Washington. And the truth
is, few have been ignored by Washington for as long as American Indians. Too
often, Washington pays lip service to working with tribes while taking a one-size-fits-all
approach with tribal communities across the nation.

That will change if I
am honored to serve as president of the United States.

My
American Indian policy begins with creating a bond between an Obama administration
and the tribal nations all across this country. We need more than just a government-to-government
relationship; we need a nation-to-nation relationship, and I will make sure
that tribal nations have a voice in the White House…

 

TRIBAL EQUITY IN THE WIND

October 17, 2008 (Kumeyaay.com) -- Last week, The New York Times covered two
stories outlining the need of two American governments to acquire equity in
contemporary economic development enterprises: One was about the federal government’s
response to the need for equity in $700 billion national bank bailout and the
other was about a tribal government’s response to the lack of equity
in $58.6 million wind project on an Indian reservation.

Congress changed the
terms of the so-called “bailout bill” to include
provisions for the federal government (i.e., taxpayers) to obtain equity positions
in failing banks as investments rather than bailouts. The amended bill happened
to also extend federal incentives for just about everyone in the renewable
energy economy, except for Indian tribes. The federal wind production tax credit,
or PTC, incentive was extended for one year, but again, with no language to
provide for tribal equity in Indian reservation projects. That failure is a
primary basis for the difficulties in renewable energy development on impoverished
Indian reservations.

 

BARONA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS RESPONDS TO SCHOOL BUDGET CUTS

Despite a Tumultuous Economy, Barona Awards Over $600,000 to
Schools

Oct 24, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) San Diego — After historically
high statewide budget cuts in education this year have left programs underfunded
and resources sparse, the Barona Band of Mission Indians continues to lessen
the blow with its innovative Barona Education Grant Program. Barona has awarded
a total of $610,000 to 122 schools statewide since the program’s 2006
inception.

 

NIGA ACKNOWLEDGES PASSAGE OF NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE DAY BILL

Friday after Thanksgiving designated day of tribute

Oct 24, 2008 (Kumeyaay.com, reprinted from Indian Country Today) WASHINGTON
-- The National Indian Gaming Association acknowledges the passing into law
of House Joint Resolution 62, which designates the Friday after Thanksgiving
as Native American Heritage Day 2008.

The Native American Heritage Day 2008
Bill encourages the people of the United States, as well as federal, state
and local governments and interested groups and organizations, to observe Native
American Heritage Day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.
The bill is supported by the National Indian Gaming Association, the National
Congress of American Indians and Indian tribes across the country. The resolution
was introduced by Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., and Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii,
who helped move the resolution through the Senate.

 

People Power - On the Trail With the Rock "Doc": Bringing Natural Science to Reservation Children

By Miriam Raftery


October 1, 2008 (Mesa Grande reservation) - Bouncing down a dusty dirt road with hairpin turns so narrow that we have to
honk our horn to warn oncoming drivers, we descend past Lake Sutherland into
a deep gorge.   We emerge in a hidden valley—home of the
lower Mesa Grande Indian reservation.  The most remote tribal village
in East County, Mesa Grande’s American Indians survived 19th century
attacks that decimated more accessible tribes. 

We park in front of the tribal tutoring center, which doubles as a fire station.   A
throng of smiling children quickly surrounds us, eager to greet Eleanora “Norrie” Robbins,
PhD—better known as “Doc.”

Notes On Air - Tracy Lee Nelson


By Richard Noel

Tracy Lee NelsonNotes On Air is a monthly music column highlighting local artists,
events, and other music-related news. 

In this month’s column, we talk with Tracy Lee Nelson, accomplished
blues musician who is also tribal chairman of the La Jolla Indian Reservation
in Pauma Valley.  Nelson’s music places an emphasis on his heritage,
bringing a Native American perspective to the blues.  His most recent
CD, Indian Reservation, was released in November of 2007

Thank you for taking the time to talk to East County Magazine.

Thank
you.

 

You’ve been playing since you were fairly young.  What
were your earliest musical influences?

I’d have to say my earliest
musical influence was the Beatles.  I
remember when I was young my brother would play their records.  He would
say to me, “You’ve got to listen to this band; you’ve got
to know their names!”  Even more so now; after I understand music
and structure and guitar-playing, I am in awe of some of their formulas and
structure. 

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