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(Photo courtesy: SDAIHC)

San Diego American Indian Health Center Held the 31st Annual Balboa Park Pow Wow to Celebrate Heritage

San Diego CA—The San Diego American Indian Health Center’s (SDAIHC) Annual Balboa Park Pow Wow took place on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Balboa Park. The Pow Wow is a traditional and cultural event that showcases the heritage of American Indians. This year, the SDAIHC celebrated heritage by sharing its story of strength and resilience in the San Diego community, serving the local Native American population since 1979.

For more than 30 years, the American Indian community throughout the San Diego area has celebrated their traditions by gathering at the Balboa Park Pow Wow. The cultural event featured traditional drum groups and inter-Tribal dancing. Participants of all ages were present from various American Indian Tribes, bands and communities proudly adorning their beautiful regalia.

These gatherings are where cultural traditions are preserved and passed from generation to generation and serve as a learning experience for American Indian youth, provide a spiritual experience for all, and give a reminder to elders of their ancestors and heritage. Pow Wows are not only a place for American Indians to gather and celebrate, but also an opportunity to raise cultural awareness and share their heritage with the people of greater San Diego.

In recognition that we are all guests of San Diego’s “first people,” Kumeyaay singers opened the event both days with their traditional Birds Songs. Gourd Dancing followed and then the Grand Entry, which started two days of Inter-Tribal Dancing. The Pow Wow welcomed community members of all ages and backgrounds to attend the free, family-friendly event.

SDAIHC is a proud sponsor of the Balboa Park Pow Wow. The Health Center provides primary medical, dental and behavioral health and youth services to the San Diego community, striving always to “provide quality health care with respect for custom and tradition.” Recently, SDAIHC launched a capital campaign to raise funds to renovate newly acquired buildings, which will enable the organization to provide health services to a larger population of American Indians/Alaskan Native and low-income families in need. SDAIHC, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) community health organization, is welcoming assistance, comments and participation. To learn more about SDAIHC, please visit www.sdaihc.org.