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Union Bank, KPBS Honor Local Heroes During American Indian Heritage Month

San Diego CA— In celebration of American Indian Heritage Month and as part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, MUFG Union Bank, N.A., has partnered with KPBS to honor two inspiring individuals as local heroes. The 2014 American Indian Heritage Month honorees are: Dr. Daniel J. Calac, medical director of the Indian Health Council (IHC) and Roy Cook, tribal writer, author, journalist, native singer and artist. They will be recognized in November at a private dinner celebration with their families and executives from KPBS and Union Bank.

Since 1998, KPBS and Union Bank have collaborated on the Local Heroes program and recognized more than 200 honorees.  The program pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their community, region and the world at large.  The 2014 American Indian Heritage Month honorees demonstrate a shared commitment to providing their communities with the tools to thrive in today’s changing world.

In addition to the American Indian Heritage Month local heroes, honorees were recognized during Black History Month (February); Women’s History Month (March); Jewish American Heritage Month (May); Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May);  LGBT Pride Month (June); Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) and Disability Awareness Month (October).

“Union Bank is proud to recognize the contributions of these local heroes who have generously given their wisdom, time and resources to enrich our communities,” said MUFG Union Bank Managing Director Pierre P. Habis, who heads the Consumer and Business Banking groups. “We are delighted to partner with KPBS as we recognize these individuals who personify our core values and reflect the vibrant and diverse communities we serve.”

“KPBS is honored to continue its partnership with Union Bank to celebrate these Local Heroes during American Indian Heritage Month,” said KPBS general manager Tom Karlo. “Through their efforts in our communities, these extraordinary individuals improve the quality of life for all.”

The 2014 honorees for American Indian Heritage Month are:

 Dr. Daniel J. Calac, medical director of the Indian Health Council (IHC). He is a member of the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians, the InterTribal Youth Advisory Board and a board member of the California State University San Marcos Foundation. (courtesy photo)

Dr. Daniel J. Calac, medical director of the Indian Health Council (IHC). He is a member of the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians, the InterTribal Youth Advisory Board and a board member of the California State University San Marcos Foundation. (courtesy photo)

Dr. Daniel J. Calac is the medical director of the Indian Health Council (IHC), a consortium of nine tribes dedicated to the continual betterment of Indian health, wholeness, and well-being. A principal investigator of the California Native American Research Centers for Health (CA-NARCH), Dr. Calac was born and raised on the Pauma Indian Reservation and began his pathway in medicine as a tribal doctor.  He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from San Diego State University (SDSU) and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he was awarded the Arthur Ashe Foundation Fellowship at Harvard AIDS Institute. Dr. Calac participated in the Four Directions Summer Program, a student-run project that brings Native American undergraduates to Harvard to perform research, shadow physicians and meet Native American medical students. He is a member of the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians, the InterTribal Youth Advisory Board and a board member of the California State University San Marcos Foundation.

Roy Cook

Roy Cook, tribal writer, author, journalist, native singer and artist (courtesy photo)

Roy Cook is a tribal writer, author, journalist, native singer and artist born in Arizona of Ootan (Opata) and Oklahoma (Wazazee) Osage heritage. An Army veteran, Mr. Cook is the president and historian of the San Diego American Indian Warriors Association (AIWA). He also serves as the tribal historian for the Southern California American Indian Resource Center (SCAIR) in San Diego County. Mr. Cook is a member of the Golden State Gourd Dance Society and the Western Oklahoma Comanche Gourd Clan. He has served as curator of the American Indian Cultural Center Museum, San Diego Balboa Park, and the Indian Human Resource Center, Inc. He has published more than 300 stories for print and online covering many Native American topics and has taught at numerous colleges in San Diego, including Palomar College, Mesa Community College and Grossmont College, where he also served as chairman of the Multicultural Studies Department.

KPBS features a wide range of programming during American Indian Heritage Month (November).  For more information or to nominate a future local hero, please visit www.kpbs.org/heroes or unionbank.com/heroes.

About KPBS

KPBS serves our local communities with news and entertainment programming that respects our audience with inspiring, intelligent and enlightening content.  KPBS will deliver this content via multiple outlets, including television, radio, and digital media and will adapt and remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.  KPBS values integrity, truth, transparency and lifelong learning. At KPBS we strive to engage with our citizens and showcase the unique neighborhoods and people that make our community thrive.  And as a public service of San Diego State University, education is a core value – from our children’s programming to our local news coverage.  KPBS is committed to being a reliable source for in-depth, thoughtful, and high quality content.

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with offices across the United States.  We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial, retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers.  The bank also offers an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal trust, capital markets, global treasury management, transaction banking and other services.  With assets of $110.9 billion (USD), as of September 30, 2014, the bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks.  MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥259 trillion (JPY) or $2.5 trillion (USD)1, as of June 30, 2014.  MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, the financial holding company and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. have corporate headquarters in New York City.

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