San Diego Unified School District, Title VII Indian Education Program
by Roy Cook, Opata-Oodham, Mazopiye Wishasha: Writer, Singer, Speaker
The Wednesday evening Culture Arts Program, Oak Park School, 2606 54th St., continues to be a success!
Coordinated by Vickie Gambala this program provides opportunities for enrichment and result in student accomplishment. The principal instructor is Edward ‘Chuck’ Cadotte, Dakota. He brings a real sense of tradition to the projects. Students and parents enjoy the relaxed sociability and patient guidance of his support.
There is a wide variation of tribal representation at these Indian Education classes: Apache, Choctaw, Yaqui, Colorado River Tribes, Tipai-Kumeyaay and, of course, Cherokee or TsaLaGi, they also say, Ani Yun Wiya, meaning The Principal People.
A schedule of Title 9 culture nights and special activities are available on the Internet or you may wish to call the Indian Education office number: 858-627-7362.
An added dimension is brought to the culture night when special guests bring presentations. For example, Steve Gomez Sr. and an assistant presented, on February 27, 2008, "Kids on the Rez".
These are a thought provoking puppet show on relevant themes in the student lives: Nicotine addiction, Bully behavior and ethnic name-calling. This is been able to touch the students and includes a question and answer follow up while in ‘costume’.
Let us look at some examples of Tribal names and maybe we will hear your thoughts on this subject too.
Southern California Tribal people have endured these terms: Mission Indian, Luiseno, Cahuilla, Cupeno, Diegeno, Kamia, Kumeyaay. Currently some have preferred Payomkawish, Tipai or Kumeyaay, and Ipai.
Sioux or Dakota or Lakota? The Mdewakanton Sioux refer to themselves sometimes as Sioux and sometimes as the Mdewakanton Dakota Community. Dakota and Lakota are variations in spelling for the same word, which means "friend" or "ally."
Anishinabe, Chippewa or Ojibwe? All are acceptable references. Anishinabe, meaning "original man," is the tribal name. Chippewa is the official name of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
Ojibwe, rather than Ojibwa or Ojibway, seems to be gaining favor as the preferred spelling and is often used in reference to individuals. Other tribes and other places have similar variations.
Once again, I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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