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Native Americans

Local Heroes

Rose-Margaret Orrantia Finds Purpose in Helping American Indian Foster Youth

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Rose-Margaret Orrantia has spent a lifetime working to help American Indian children in the foster care system. After all, helping children is where her heart has led her. And helping ... Read more

Kumeyaay Elder Jane Dumas Keeps Language & Plant Lore Alive

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On a bright and clear weekend morning in early October, there’s a flutter of activity at San Diego’s Tecolote Nature Center as staff get ready for an annual family activity, ... Read more

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James Garner Served In Korean War, Awarded Purple Heart Twice

July 21
By Beth Ford Roth
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James Scott Bumgarner, a.k.a. James Garner, served in the Merchant Marines, the Oklahoma National Guard, and the U.S. Army. Garner was injured in the Korean War and twice awarded the Purple Heart before being discharged in 1952.

Documentary Chronicles History, Culture Of San Diego's 'First People'

May 20
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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New documentary airing on KPBS is full of fascinating details about the ancient Kumeyaay way of life.

Review: 'The Lesser Blessed'

June 29
By Rebecca Romani
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Guest blogger Rebecca Romani looks the recent art film, "The Lesser Blessed," about a First Nation teenager in a small northern Canadian town and the secret that haunts him- bleak, but worth a look.

And, The 2013 One Book Selection Is…

May 14
By Monica Medina
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The verdict is in. The new One Book, One San Diego selection has been chosen. Starting in October, this will be the book that the entire community will come together to read for one extraordinary purpose—to enrich our lives through reading, and discover new worlds while sharing a common experience.

Rites of Passage—A Community Exhibit

Nov. 28
By Monica Medina
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Imagine if you were handed the keys to a museum and told you could plan an exhibit. What would it be? How would you fill it? And, how exciting to be faced with that challenge?

Why Patricia A. Dixon Never Stops Learning

Native American Heritage Month: 2012 Honoree

Oct. 2
By Monica Medina
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This Thanksgiving, Professor Patricia A. Dixon has much to be thankful for. “I think I was lucky. I had great parents, and good teachers throughout my life. I had far more good teachers than bad teachers. I was encouraged to read and to dream and I was taught to work hard.” And, though she does plan on celebrating Thanksgiving with her family this week, there’s one aspect about the holiday that’s off the table.

Leroy Elliott

Native American Heritage Month: 2012 Honoree

Oct. 2
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Mr. Leroy Elliott is a tribal elder who has served his Native American tribe as their Chairman for the past 14 years. His tribe, the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, is an economically disadvantaged sovereign government assigned to reservation land in a remote area of the San Diego County backcountry. In spite of these challenges, Chairman Elliott actively seeks and has secured revenue opportunities that provided much needed government services and job opportunities. Elliott is the Treasurer and a long standing Board member for the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association; the Chairman of the Southern California Indian Health Clinic; and a volunteer Assistant Fire Marshall for the Campo Fire department.

Meadowood Approved Over Objections From Native American Indians

Jan. 11
By Alison St John

San Diego County Supervisors have approved a major new residential development project north of Escondido over objections from Native American tribes.

Brandie Taylor

Native American Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

Nov. 1

Brandie Taylor is the vice chairwoman of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, an Indian tribe in Northern San Diego County. Ms. Taylor has dedicated her life to advocating for tribal rights, preservation of tribal culture, improvement of health and safety of native peoples, and she is an avid supporter of higher education for youth. Ms. Taylor’s many accomplishments include securing funding for Iipay Nation’s Tribal Social Services, which handles child dependency cases and culturally focused assistance for family preservation.

Michelle M. Parada

Native American Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

Nov. 1

Michelle M. Parada is the co-founder and lead teacher of All Tribes American Indian Charter School. Since 2001, All Tribes Charter School has provided culturally focused assistance to reduce the dropout rates among Native American students in San Diego by graduating 46 high school seniors to date. Ms. Parada has been a recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2010 Educator of the Year from the National Indian Education Association and San Diego’s 10News Leadership Award.

Future Development And Native American Past

Oct. 18
By Alison St John
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Native American history buried on hillsides and valleys all over San Diego County has developers facing a challenge: to reconcile honoring the past while meeting the needs of the future.

Meadowood Development Moves Ahead Despite Native American Opposition

Oct. 7
By Alison St John
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A plan to develop more than 844 new homes east of Interstate 15 in North County is facing opposition from Native American bands.

Native American Remains Delay New Housing Development

Aug. 22
By Alison St John

As developers explore where to build new housing in San Diego’s back country, they're coming up against an increasingly common hurdle. Native Americans inhabited the whole area, and their burial sites are turning up on plots where new homes are planned.

Native American Art, Past And Present

April 13
These Days
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When we think of classical art, we often think of urns or statues or the Parthenon. But Native Americans were making art during the same time period. A new exhibit at the Mingei International Museum explores Native American art of the past and present. The work of four contemporary artists is also included in the show.

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