Thursday, September 27, 2018

Being Native American in 2018

Come listen and engage in this discussion on following traditional cultural pathways in our contemporary world, being true to one's Native American identity, respecting the past in present tense. 

Being Native American in 2018
A panel discussion with Culture Bearers and Catalysts
Moderator: Elder Ernest Siva (Cahuilla/Serrano)
Including Sean Milanovich, Cahuilla Red Elk, Gerald Clarke Jr., Terria Smith

6 pm Oct 15, 2018
127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning CA 92220
Your $5 donation helps the 501(c)3 nonprofit Dorothy Ramon Learning Center save and share Southern California's Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ballerinas and Native American Flute

Today, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018: Julia Olsen Rodriguez and San Gorgonio Ballet Company present "Fusion, Revisited," classical ballet interpretations of traditional and contemporary Native American music.
Flute music by Ernest Siva.
Our local ballet company also will present other classical and modern dances.

Details: 3 p.m., Sept. 23, 2018, San Manuel Gathering Hall at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, 127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning CA 92220. Your $10 helps support the Center's 501(c)3 nonprofit work to save and share Southern California's Native American cultures.

Monday, August 6, 2018

And at the 2018 Dragonfly Gala, the Dragonfly Award goes to ...

We'll be honored and thrilled this Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at our Dragonfly Gala to present the 2018 Dragonfly Award for soaring achievements in saving and sharing Native American cultures to BILL MADRIGAL Sr. AND HIS FAMILY.
Please reserve your spot now, 951.849.7736, or email, so we can make sure we have enough of Daniel McCarthy's delicious BBQ dinner to serve everyone. The gala will be at Morongo Community Center.

Here is what they wrote about themselves!
"Bill and Monica are of Cahuilla and Luiseño ancestry from local reservation communities. They home-schooled and raised their children William Jr., Menil, Andrew, Kateri, Starla, Nesune, Noel, Avelaka, and Tishmal in their faith and traditions on the Cahuilla Indian reservation.
All their lives they visited with the elders to learn our culture, bird songs, stories, basket making, foods, and languages.
They have formed a traditional Bird-singing/dance group and also teach what they have learned to all our people and those who want to learn in the local area.
They have been teaching on the local reservations and presenting at schools, colleges and Universities for many years.
Their grown children have also been active in cultural teaching and giving presentations on our culture as well.
It is with great honor and love of our brothers and sisters to share the gifts of our elders that come from our Creator with all our native family!
Umon Chemingkim All our relatives!
Nesun Achama!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

RSVP now for the 2018 Dragonfly Gala

Everything in Dorothy Ramon Learning Center’s annual Dragonfly Gala is handmade, homemade, and from the heart. The gala each year is like a giant reunion of more than 350 family and friends who celebrate and support Southern California’s Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts. This year’s gala underscores the theme, “Family, the Heart, & the Word.”
Ernest Siva, President of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center
At the gala from 4 to 8 pm Saturday, Aug. 11 at Morongo Community Center, 13000 Malki Rd., Morongo Reservation:
• Explore many Native American cultural displays and exhibits; visit, share memories and stories.
Chia Cafe Collective with a Native food sampler (Carlos Puma photo)
• Eat a delicious dinner! Daniel McCarthy and his crew again will prepare their famed BBQ turkey and beef, along with some favorite vegetable dishes and salads incorporating Native foods, the original California cuisine. The desserts are simply the best. 

RSVP so we have plenty of food for all! (Carlos Puma photo)
• Dance to Bird Songs and other traditional music. Enjoy flute music.
Carlos Puma Photo

Carlos Puma Photo
• Bid in the silent auction for eclectic and Native American art, jewelry, and other treasures. 
Shop amid many beautiful items in our famed silent auction (Carlos Puma photo)
• Honor Bill Madrigal Sr. (Cahuilla/Luiseño) and family, winner of the Center’s 2018 Dragonfly Award for soaring achievements in saving and sharing Native American cultures.
Carlos Puma Photo

Carlos Puma Photo
• Dragonfly exchange: bring a dragonfly (art, handmade, be creative!), and take home someone else’s. Morongo School students have made beautiful beaded bracelets and artwork to share, for example, as all celebrate Native American cultures.

Dragonfly exchange (Carlos Puma Photo)
 Please RSVP so there’s more than plenty to serve you. 

Tickets $50; Tables, $1,000, $2,000, $3,000. 
Reserve your spot: 951.849.4676, or

All proceeds support the 501(c)3 nonprofit, Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, which since 2003 has saved and shared all Southern California’s American Indian cultures, languages, history, and music and other traditional arts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dragonfly Exchange

"Saving our culture by
Learning and Sharing our Story (Chaterha')
Loving each other (Piihanich)
Reading our history (Ushranich yerhyer')
Creating a future for Morongo (Tum hiitii uu')

Watching our Elders (Yerhyerher')
Making our Ancestors Proud (Ichu'uv)"
Morongo Reservation School students plan to share this message at our Aug. 11, 2018, Dragonfly Gala, as part of our Dragonfly Exchange. 
This is a call to participate with them — and all of us — in the Dragonfly Exchange at our Dragonfly Gala.

The Back Story: When Ernest Siva sings the Dragonfly Song, he says that Dragonfly will either come to you, or stay away from you. "The teaching goes, if you are kind and have kind thoughts, he will come to you. Conversely, if you are troubled, nervous, angry, etc., he will leave your presence. The elders say, 'Mehuun terrux!' "Quiet your heart!' In other words, be calm and confident before proceeding with anything of importance." (Siva 2004)

The Exchange: At our Dragonfly Gala on Aug. 11, 2018, we'll have our second annual exchange. Bring a dragonfly (handmade, art, what have you) and take home someone else's dragonfly! Bring kind thoughts and friendship to another person, and take home the same. Share the peace, comfort, and beauty that comes when your heart is open and Dragonfly comes to you.

LOOK AT THIS! This is only part of what Morongo Reservation School is bringing to the Dragonfly Gala for the Dragonfly Exchange. The students all made these beautiful beaded bracelets with dragonflies. They are enclosed in special gift boxes. With that special message inside. So, when you come to the Gala, please bring a dragonfly that's from your heart, to share.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

An Evening With Dorothy Ramon

Step into a world of wonder in our next lecture on July 30, 2018, with Dorothy Ramon’s family members, Ernest Siva and Carolyn Horsman. Hear the beautiful words flowing in one of Southern California’s own languages, and explore some of the cultural memories of Dorothy Ramon.
The power of the old ways
Dorothy Ramon was a force to be reckoned with. Descended from a traditional Serrano ceremonial assistant and filled with knowledge of the power of the old ways, she was in her 80s when she began working with linguist Eric Elliott to save and share the Native American Serrano language and culture. She is believed to be the last primary speaker of Serrano, that is, the last to think and dream in Serrano first, before English. The linguist later recalled that when he first met her, she was wearing a bandage on one hand from getting accidentally locked out of her home. To regain entry she had smashed her fist through a glass window. She initially refused to talk to him in Serrano, and he recalled that his nerves plunged over the brink and he began sweating profusely. Eventually they worked together for years and became dear friends. Because of their work and the work of other linguists, the language continues.
The resulting readings transport you, whether it’s to an ancient traditional time when shamans listened to the ocean and mountains to learn their teachings, or later times, when Native Americans faced the losses of their homelands. Although Dorothy Ramon ends every story with” ‘Ama’ ‘ayee’ “ — “That’s all” — we’re thankful for an amazing legacy that’s never “all.” 
DETAILS: 6 pm Monday, July 30, 127 N San Gorgonio Ave., Banning, CA. Your $5 donation helps the Learning Center save and share Southern California’s Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The call of the red-tailed hawk

The Serrano Native American name for Red-tailed Hawk is Kwaat. If you listen to the hawk call in the first recording (Alaska 1975) in this link at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the hawk just may be screaming its name in Indian. (Maybe, maybe not? ... Tell us what you think.)
Explore and discover more in our July 16 lecture with Rebecca K. O’Connor of Banning, "A Raptor As a Guide: Lessons on connecting and listening to the natural world gleaned from hawks, eagles, and falcons.”
She will discuss her 25 years of working as a licensed falconer with birds of prey, and how this experience has given her a meaningful connection based in respect and honor for wild animals and the open spaces she shares with them.
By Daniel Ankele (Grover Beach, California) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
We also will share information on Native American relationships with a few wild birds of prey and their landscapes, led by Center President and Elder Ernest Siva (Cahuilla/Serrano) and the Learning Center.
DETAILS: 6 p.m. Monday, July 16, 2018, at The Center’s Gathering Hall, 127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning. Your $5 donation will help the 501(c)3 nonprofit Dorothy Ramon Learning Center save and share Southern California’s Native American cultures, languages, history, and music and other arts.