Two-Day Event Draws Thousands to Celebrate American Indian Heritage in San Diego 

| April 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

The San Diego American Indian Health Center (SDAIHC) will host the 35th annual Balboa Park Pow Wow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14, at the corner of Park Boulevard and President’s Way at Balboa Park.

The Pow Wow is a celebration and showcase of the Native American culture and traditions.  Native American singers, drummers, and dancers from throughout the Southwest will perform in their beautiful regalia in Balboa Park. Pow Wow’s are a spiritual experience for American Indians and an opportunity to preserve and pass on the customs and traditions which keeps the Native heritage alive. 

Randy Edmonds, who will be celebrating his 89th birthday and has been a driving force behind this event since its inception, will serve as the event emcee. Each day, the Pow Wow will showcase traditional activities such as Kumeyaay Bird Singing, Gourd Dancing, Inter-Tribal Dancing, and Honoring of community leaders.   

At this year’s event, at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 13, representatives of the Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska will speak. At 3 p.m., Dr. Anthony R. Pico, former chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, will be recognized for his service to the Kumeyaay Nation, and for being a strong voice for self-reliance, economic development, and diversification within the Native community on state and national levels. Sunday will be dedicated to honoring Mother’s Day.  

According to Paula Brim, event organizer, “This event happens due to the contributions and collaborative work of a lot of people, including Kevin LaChapell, CEO of the American Indian Health Center, and Randy Edmonds (who originally started the event), Tina Morales, Ana Jacome and Maria Lewis, to name a few.”

She was excited to state that the vendors who participate in the event are locally based and come from other parts of the country, including Arizona and New Mexico.  They represent different cultures, art forms and food delicacies. 

Jewelry, rugs, pottery, handbags, and a variety of Native American styles of food will be available for sale during the two-day event.  There will be lots to see and enjoy, as traditional Native American music, dancing and other art forms will be present for guests during the two-day weekend.

Brim offered, “We invite everyone to come out and have a good time and learn more about the Native American culture.”

The San Diego American Indian Health Center, organizers of the event, promotes excellence in health care, while emphasizing respect for customs and traditions, with the goal to reduce the significant health disparities of San Diego’s Urban American Indian and under-served populations. The center is dedicated to improving the excellence of care, resulting in increased life expectancy and improved quality of life.  The health center believes in taking care of the “whole person,” and offers services to everyone in need of quality care. 

There will be lots to see and enjoy, as traditional Native American music, dancing and other art forms will be present for guests during the two-day weekend.

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