By Roy Cook
This has been a busy
June month for the American Indian Warriors Association, AIWA members:
William Buchanan, Joaquin Sandoval and Roy Cook.
On Tuesday, June 12, the American Indian Warriors Association was invited
to be the Color Guard at the Indian Health Service Nurses conference at
the Bahia hotel. AIWA, along with Randy Edmonds and Stan Rodriguez who
provided the Kiowa Flag song and the Kumeyaay blessing, brought in the
Colors at 8:30 that morning.
Then, on Friday, June 15, 2012 from 2-8pm, Active duty Native Americans,
USMC dignitaries, AIWA members and the Gourd dance societies of California
were invited to honor and recognize our Warriors yesterday and today.
The location was a lush green field with shades and comfortable seating
for the guests. The weather was not a sunny Southern California postcard
setting. Overcast 'Coastal Eddy' was in and kept the sun hidden all day.
But the songs were hot and kept the dancers comfortable most of the day.
Rocky Chavez, retired
USMC Coronel, was the featured speaker of the day. Alvin Rough Face of
the Ponca Tribe was the Emcee, Daron Henson of the Cherokee Tribe was
the Head Gourd dancer, Mary Lou Stevenson-Tselee of the Wichita Tribe
was the Head Women Dancer and David Patterson of the Sac and Fox and Kickapoo
Tribes was the Arena director. Many were previous conflict Marine veterans
and there were also some Hollywood celebrities. But we all know, Once
a Marine, always a Marine.
The Honored Serviceman
was: Kevin Zotigh of the Kiowa Tribe and currently a Navy corpsman with
the Marines. Additionally, the Honored Veteran was Earl Steen of the Muscogee
Creek Tribe, US Navy 1957-1960.
Our national debt
to past Veterans from other conflicts that came home to no respect, no
fanfare or appreciation was recalled and they were thanked for their service
at this event. In Indian country, our returning Warriors from all conflicts,
female and men, have always been publically acknowledged for their service
to this land and their Tribe. The Emcee, Alvin Rough Face said, Things
are changing, Women make the supreme sacrifice like men. Steve Bohay,
President of the Golden State Gourd Society, GSGS, related the background
of the organization. He also recognized Charter member and past President
of the GSGS, Randy Edmonds. A number of the GSGS members were present
including Roy Cook and the Honored Veteran, Earl Steen.
Aiwa was honored
to be invited to be the Color Guard for the Imperial Beach Fathers
Day Pow wow June 16 & 17. Our good friend, John Hood, Dine USMC
Vietnam veteran, provided these views on the Imperial Beach gatherings.
The 2012 Pow Wow
by the Sea Imperial Beach
By John Hood
The warm season
of summer certainly knocked us into Pow Wow mode. This Annual event
off the Pacific shore is one of the welcoming Pow Wow of our long
summer months. The Pacific breeze does cool the dancers; the participants
and the public. Although with the breeze, our dancing marathoners
fatigue went into overdrive stepping to the drum in arduous efforts.
Our elder Mr. Chuck Cadotte paced his heart beat with the drum and
managed to outlast the younger, energetic dancers; experience does
prevail. When we celebrate life we look to our elders and the recipe
for them varies; one of our centurion, a 99 years old Yaqui elder
graced us with her presence.
of an elder is a vision of wealth; a wealth of history, knowledge
and wisdom. The honor was ours to be in her presence, we thank her
for being with us and we shall remember to seek all there is to
see as she did.
Our elder Mr. Randy Edmond stands with the Soaring Eagles family
as a spiritual leader, a family man and holds in check the protocols
of the Pow Wows here in Southern California. His love as Master
of Ceremony is a mastery of wisdom and knowledge as well as humor.
well known community leader nationally acclaimed as an advocate
for American Indians and all that stands in the Circle of Life with
him. His support is unequalled; encouragement for optimism has always
been his visions. The Honored staff made their Give-Away protocols
in acknowledgement to supportive roles of individuals in the community
and personal life. Our generosity is a lineage of tribal protocols
of every tribe; our approach to being steward of the environment,
our spiritual guidance cited with respect, retention of our culture,
insuring our children sing the songs, dance with pride and hold
sacred our thinking, teaching, and be a family. The laughter of
the childrens eyes and pride in the arena is a wonder to behold.
The Pow Wow resonate beauty in cultures; ribbons with elegance floating
and slicing the air, the Eagle feathers clinging to the soul; beckoning
the freedom to be an American Indian. The buckskins/deer hides adored
with myriad of personal ornaments, shells, beads, tins, porcupine
quills, and bones gracefully jingles with the dancers. The boldness
is with colors as well as elevated pride in presentations and display.
The Soaring Eagles is a Band of Pride; our diplomats that speak
volumes when they practice and perform. Thank you.
Aho, thanks to
AIWA was also invited
to participate at noon June 18, 2012 and to present the Colors. AIWA was
to be a part of the re-dedication of the VA La Jolla Medical facility
Medicine Wheel. William Buchanan, AIWA President, organized and performed
on the Indian flute. Rocky Chavez, USMC Coronel ret., Chuck Cadotte and
many other dignitaries were there for this event.
nation that makes a great distinction between its warriors and its
scholars will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting
done by fools" -Thucydides
AIWA Secretary/ Historian, Roy Cook