AIWA Activities June 2012
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 Father’s 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.

The visions 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.

A 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 children’s 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 John Hood.

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.

"The 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