Recognition dinner honored the academic success of 100 local Native American graduates

Pictured: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Business Committee Members congratulate a 2019 graduate and fellow Tribal Member. From left to right: Tribal Secretary Ken Ramirez, Graduate Amaris Calderon, and Tribal Member Melonie Calderon.(Photo: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians)

Organizers motivate continued academic achievement

News Release

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc. Native American Resource Center hosted the 8th annual Native American Student Recognition Dinner at the National Orange Show. Approximately 100 Native American students were recognized from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and area schools including University of Redlands, University of California, Riverside (UCR), California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), Claremont Graduate University, Noli Indian School, San Bernardino City Unified School District and Banning Unified School District.

School officials called students to the stage individually to be recognized, where their loved ones wrapped them in a traditional Native blanket. The blanket has significance in Native American culture symbolizing warmth and support.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Member Keely Marquez took the stage as a keynote speaker and congratulated all Native American graduates on their achievement.
Pictured: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Member Keely Marquez took the stage as a keynote speaker and congratulated all Native American graduates on their achievement.(Photo: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians)

“As we know in order for us to individually succeed it often takes a collective effort of people behind you,” said Claudette C. White, Chief Judge for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. “As indigenous people that is how we succeed, with our people at our side or behind us, pushing us, encouraging us, loving us along the way. We stand as giants on the shoulders of our tribes and ancestors who have paved a way for us to be here.”

The celebration included Bird Singers from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Native hoop dancing performances from seven-time World Hoop Dance Champion Terry Goedel and his family and pow wow exhibition dances and a drum circle from the Bearspring Dance Group.

Seven-time World Hoop Dance Champion Terry Goedel performs with daughter Tara Kingi.
Seven-time World Hoop Dance Champion Terry Goedel performs with daughter Tara Kingi.(Photo: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians)

About the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. 

As an indigenous community, the origins and history of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians stem from our relationship with the land and to all who share it. Since ancient times we have expressed ourselves through a culture of giving. Today, San Manuel is able to answer the call of Yawa' (Serrano word meaning “to act on one's beliefs”) through partnerships with charitable organizations. We have drawn upon our history, knowledge, expertise and cultural values to direct our philanthropic giving in our local region, as well as to Native American causes nationwide.

For more information, visit http://www.sanmanuel-nsn.gov.

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100 local Native American graduates to be recognized today at the National Orange Show

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