Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dragonfly Gala 2010

San Manuel Tribal Color Guard © Carlos Puma

More than 300 people honored American Indian military veterans at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center’s annual Dragonfly Gala.

The event at Morongo Community Center featured poignant thanks and displays remembering American Indians who served in the U.S. military, including those who died in service.

Soboba Reservation display © Carlos Puma

American Indians began serving in the U.S. military long before they officially were recognized as U.S. citizens in 1924 and have the highest number serving of any minority.

San Manuel Reservation’s Tribal Color Guard posted the colors to begin the Aug. 14 event at Morongo Community Center.

San Manuel Tribal Color Guard © Carlos Puma

Pedro “Pete” Molina, California assistant secretary for Native American Veterans Affairs, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Acting California Veterans Affairs Secretary Rocky Chavez thanked and honored American Indian military veterans. Displays included Soboba Reservation’s wall of photos, the faces of the many tribal members who served in the U.S. military, and Morongo Reservation
’s more than 80 names of those on its veterans memorial.

Most military veterans present gathered for applause from the crowd.

Some military veterans at the Gala © Carlos Puma

Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, a nonprofit that saves and shares Southern California American Indian cultures, gave this year’s Dragonfly Award to all military veterans.

Ernest Siva with Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin & Dragonfly Award © Carlos Puma

Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin accepted the award, which will be housed at Morongo. The Dragonfly Award will be available to travel to ceremonies or events honoring military veterans, Dorothy Ramon Learning Center President Ernest Siva said.

Author Marlowe Churchill signs history book © Carlos Puma

Dorothy Ramon Learning Center is renovating two buildings and two lots at the corner of San Gorgonio Avenue and Hays Street into a Center for saving and sharing American Indian cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

Dancing to traditional bird songs at the Gala. © Carlos Puma

The Center supports tribal work to save and revive cultural knowledge and welcomes and teaches the general public about Southern California A
merican Indians. All proceeds from the annual Dragonfly Gala go to the nonprofit’s work.

Getting ready to dance to traditional bird songs. © Carlos Puma

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