Feb. 2: Agave. Daniel McCarthy, tribal relations manager for San Bernardino National Forest, will share Cahuilla strategies for gathering and preparing this traditional food.
March 2: Yucca. William Pink will share traditional knowledge about this superplant that provided food and fibers essential to the First Cultures of Southern California.
About the lecturer: Mr. Pink (Cupeño/Luiseño) is a Board member of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center. He has worked in California Indian Arts for more than 30 years and serves as a consultant in cultural resources and traditions. His skills include many traditional arts, including basket weaving. He specializes in ethnobotany, and is often a go-to person for many when it comes to native plants and their traditional uses by First Cultures.
April 20: Tell Them Willie Boy Was (Still) Here. Clifford E. Trafzer. Co-sponsored by the Costo Chair of American Indian Affairs at UC Riverside and the UCR Center for California Native Nations.
Willie Boy, whose story was famously told by Harry Lawton in the book Willie Boy, and then made more famous in the 1969 Robert Redford film, Tell them Willie Boy is Here, was accused in 1909 of murdering William Mike of the Twenty Nine Palms Band and kidnapping and murdering his daughter, Carlota. The hunt for Willie Boy led to what many have called the West's last manhunt. The posse said he killed himself rather than be caught. However, Dr. Trafzer's research, based on oral and archival histories, contradicts Lawton and also Sandos and Burgess (The Hunt for Willie Boy). Instead Dr. Trafzer supports what many Indian people believe: Willie Boy lived. Come discuss what continues to be a controversial chapter of our nation's history, 100 years later.
About the lecturer: Dr. Trafzer is the UCR Costo chair and a UCR history professor.
May 11: Inside St. Boniface Indian School. For many years, this Roman Catholic boarding school in Banning served Indian families from Morongo, Soboba, and other reservations across Southern California and from Arizona. Tanya Sorrell shares research and photos, from her graduate work at UC Riverside.
When: All lectures start at 6 p.m.
Where: Dorothy Ramon Learning Center 17 W. Hays, Banning (Near the corner of Hays and San Gorgonio Avenue).
Dragonfly Lectures are FREE. Donations gratefully accepted.
Who we are: Dorothy Ramon Learning Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to saving and sharing Southern California's American Indian cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.
Why dragonflies? Dragonfly Lectures?
The answer is also why we use the name Ushkana Press for the nonprofit's publishing arm.
Ushkana gets its name from an Indian lullaby that teaches how we can interact and learn from animals if we open our hearts and learn to be still — to listen. Like the song, the Press emphasizes the power of communication at all levels.
So do the Lectures.
This power comes when people are open to learning. We gain levels of enrichment and meaning when we are open to communicating with each other and with the world around us.