Bracamontes - Protection Of Sacred Sites - SMSC Sponsors Indoor Triathlon - Indian Arts Internships
Tom Perez, who is the United States Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and Monica Ramirez, who is Counsel to the Attorney General, were in Los Angeles on February 25, 2010,
Thank you Tom Perez and Monica Ramirez for your time.
I am Robert Bracamontes. I am a Juaneno from the Acjachemen Nation.
It is seemingly impossible for me to express the spirit of all of my ancestors before me, since they go back in time over 10,000 years, but for them I must be diligent.
The importance of preserving ancestral land which is scared to us is paramount to the preservation of our culture and way of life. The encroachment by those that wish to control this land must be stopped if the history of my people is to continue for the ages. Protection of Sacred sites is an environmental justice issue.
It has been human nature to move from place to place settle for a time and move on. And more important is the fact that we end up with like minded, culturally similar faces around us. So today many of us in this room share being raised in the barrios of urban society. We move from one barrio to the next seeing the tacos, hearing the music and marrying in the churches that are the same as those left behind. So to the Native Civilizations we have moved from village to village which is part of our past, present and future. We have not all died and disappeared.
Our sacred village Panhe is all those things that make us. The plants are used for medicines and sage for ceremony. My cousin Ronnie Bracamontes was the last one buried there about 15 years ago.
Sacred sites may not be that easy to find, unlike our popular barrios many of us have come from, the most famous East Los Angeles. But Panhe has no Whittier Blvd or King Taco. There are no distinguishable signs that tell people it is there. So to the naked eye it is easy to assume nobody lives there, but to us the Juanenos from the Acjachemen Nation it is a sacred place.
Our sacred sites have been a constant source of concern as far as preservation for the future generations of Juanenos. These Sacred burial and village sites are seen as just a patch of land to the dominate culture and their government. Businesses see these areas as easy pickings. I can't think of any equivalent agency that their sole purpose was or should be to protect Native American Land, especially in the more urban areas where people are also totally ignorant about that fact we are not all dead.
I am thinking the formation of the EPANL Environment Protection Agency for Native American Land would be a good start. The seven sites we visit on our annual Ancestral Walk are great examples of this struggle.
The village of Panhe is of super importance. It is a village, burial site, and a cultural center where we meet and pray. Many traditions take place, the Ghost dance, etc and plants used for ceremony are found here that carry special meanings. Cal State Long Beach is on one of our sacred sites, Puvungna, where once a year the Bear dance is held and carries a great feeling of unity and healing for the tribe.
SO, it is paramount that Natives be included whenever there is land encroachment. We were able to fend off a planned toll road by forming the United Coalition to Protect Panhe and coalition with other groups, including City Project and Robert Garcia. But more avenues to protect sites are needed.
I remember an experience I had with my dad. His name is Joseph. He roamed the countryside hunting for rabbits to eat. He was bare foot until the age of 14, his hair in a braid to his waist. He hated school and would rather go hunting.
When I got older he took me out to teach me how to hunt for food. We stood there, he whispered, there is the rabbit. I looked and looked and could not see it. He pointed at it. I could not see it. We stood there what seemed like a long time, finally the rabbit moved. I saw it. I asked him why I could not see the rabbit. He told me my eyes were ruined by the city. I wasn’t able to see what was so obvious because I wasn’t taught or trained or maybe my eyes were unwilling.
The federal government must not let the city lights ruin their vision of where Sacred Native sites exist. Are lands can no longer be the food for development. We must all learn to train our eyes to see what is right in front of us. Natives require the respect and protection given to all historical sites. We should do our best to see the Rabbit.
Robert (Bob) Bracamontes
Yu-va'-tal 'A'lla-mal(Black Crow)
Acjachemen Nation, Juaneno Tribe
Dakotah! Sponsors Eighth Indoor Triathlon
Open to Public
By Tessa Lehto
Prior Lake, MN – Registration is now open for Dakotah! Sport and Fitness’ Eighth Annual Indoor Triathlon. The event, which is open to the public, will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11, 2010. With an overwhelming early response to registration from previous participants, spots filled quickly for the Saturday morning heats so heats were added on Friday afternoon. Registration will remain open until all spots are full.
Since the event will be held indoors, the competition is structured differently than a typical triathlon. The events are timed, and participants are judged on the total distance they complete in the allotted time period. The three stages of the event for adults are a 7-minute swim, a 30-minute stationary cycle ride, and a 20-minute run or walk on the indoor track.
The field of up to 60 participants will be divided into heats of four that will rotate through the three events. The fee is $25 for DSF members and $35 for non-DSF members. Registration may be done online at http://www.dakotahsport.com/ or by calling 952-445-9400. Participants will receive a t-shirt, and the top three male and female finishers will receive awards.
"This is a unique format so that any level of fitness can compete. Judging is based on cumulative distance to accommodate all fitness levels. It's set up that way to get more people involved," explained Dakotah! Sport and Fitness Director Tad Dunsworth. "Our participants have enjoyed the event in previous years.”
For more information about the triathlon, contact Dakotah! Fitness Assistant Director Renee Engman at 952-496-6875 or go to http://www.dakotahsport.com/.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Dakotah! Sport and Fitness will also sponsor the Dakotah! Sport and Fitness Lakefront Days Triathlon Saturday, August 7, 2010, in Prior Lake.
About Dakotah!The area’s premier fitness facility, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness offers a vast array of amenities with something for everyone in their 305,331 square foot facility. Amenities include an indoor track, aquatic center, indoor ice arenas, a double gymnasium, a cardio studio, a cycling studio, group fitness classes, free weights, circuit training equipment, and much more.
Dakotah! Sport and Fitness is owned and operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian tribe in the Prior Lake and Shakopee area of Minnesota. The SMSC is also the owner and operator of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Playworks, the Shakopee Dakota Convenience Stores, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, and other enterprises on the reservation south of the Twin Cities.
IARC Offers Two Nine-Month Internships
Submitted by Christine Yazzie
The School for Advanced Research, Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) offers two nine-month internships to Native individuals who are recent college graduates, current graduate students, or junior museum professionals interested in furthering their collections management experience and enhancing their intellectual capacity for contributing to the expanding field and discourse of museum studies.
The internships include a $2200 monthly stipend, housing, book allowance, travel to one professional conference, and reimbursable travel to and from SAR. The deadline to apply is March 30, 2010.
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