TONKAWA Elders club
May, 2014 meeting is Cancelled.
MAY 10 & 11
American Indian Heritage Pow wow
Balboa Park – Park Blvd & Presidents Way
10am – 6pm
Click here for Flier
3rd Annual Eagle and Condor Intertribal Powwow
DeAnza Park, 1434 S Euclid Ave/W Phillips St, Ontario, Ca
MAY 23 & 24
UC Riverside Pow wow
5pm – 10pm
UCR Sports Complex 1000 Blaine St Riverside, CA
18th Annual Standing Bear Powwow
Kern county Fairgrounds
1142 South P St, Bakersfield, CA
Info: Gene Albitre @ 661/ 589-3181
Powwow by the Sea
Pier Plaza, Seacoast Drive & Evergreen
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
Info: Jackson @ 619/423-6610
Our Beloved elder and cultural treasure has passed on and is now with her relatives. Your prayers are appreciated.
More information TBA.
Jane Dumas was a very special Native American. She is a lineal descendent of Chief, Manuel Hatam. For thousands upon thousands of years Kumeyaay people lived all over this San Diego coastal area: Tecolote Canyon, Florida Canyon, Indian Point, Balboa Park and Chollas Creek. If we were to ask ourselves, where are the Indians today? The answer is, right here in the City and greater San Diego area! That is correct! There are hundreds of tribal people still living near to their original Tribal locations. Many more have been scattered by modern events: historical, political or military. Too often sickness and the pressures of modern life have taken the greater toll on the local Kumeyaay populations.
Jane Dumas was often the first person called to mind when anyone needs a local reference about tribal issues. She is a humble person who would rather work for the improvement of situations rather than confrontation and attention of self. She grew up in a dirt-floored home, hauling water by the bucket. She spoke Kumeyaay and Spanish before English. Jane Dumas is a member of the Jamul Band of Kumeyaay Indians in East County. She is a well-known and widely respected elder, teacher, and leader in San Diego’s American Indian community and in San Diego at-large.
For decades, Jane has been speaking in classrooms and at public events, sharing knowledge of Kumeyaay culture and medicine, and stressing the value of traditional language and history in today’s urban and American Indian societies. In 1981, Jane helped found the San Diego American Indian Health Center, and since 1986 she has been described as an “anchor, leader, peacemaker, and bridge between Indian and non-Indians in the areas of medicine and education” and believes that “we can become healthier as both individuals and as a community by incorporating traditional knowledge and spirituality.”
As a member of East County’s Jamul Indian band of Kumeyaay, Dumas was often called to schools, parks or other forums to explain Kumeyaay history, language and traditions. Other Indians seek advice on ceremonial protocol: who should sit where, speak first, say which prayer.
Two things set Dumas apart. She is one of very few elders from a reservation to make a mark in San Diego’s so-called urban Indian community — people of Apache, Cherokee, Navajo, Lakota or other tribal descent. Further, she is revered for her vast knowledge of plants, herbs and ancient remedies. Bushes, grasses, even tiny weeds that most people don’t even notice hold incredible power and spiritual value to her.
“Even when I travel, I take the time to look at what’s in the ground,” she said. “It all has a good, warm feeling. It’s almost like a human feeling they pass on to you, the plants. “Some of them aren’t so friendly, just like people.”
Dumas worked for 20 years at San Diego’s Urban Indian Clinic, first as a home-health aide and then as a “traditional medicine specialist.” Since 1986 she also has been a board member for the Indian Human Resource Center. “She’s influenced everybody, urban and reservation,” said Richard Bugbee, an Old Town San Diego resident and Luiseño. “She’s kind of kept the traditions alive.”
She learned about plants from her mother, Isabel Thing, a renowned Kumeyaay healer who treated maladies from headaches to malaria and gangrene.
At one of her mother’s favorite gathering spots, by the Sweetwater River near State Route 94 in Rancho San Diego, Dumas points at this and that with her cane, listing plant names in English or Kumeyaay. Everything around her has some use.
This berry makes a tea. This seed is crushed into a poultice for poisonous bites. This leaf can be smoked like tobacco, or used as foot pads in shoes.
“She helped me understand how everything was connected,” Bugbee said. “From communicating to the land and to the plants before you took them, to actually looking at the plants. Looking at their water source. Being able to tell which one was healthier not by how big it was, but by how bright it was.”
At the San Diego clinic where Dumas worked until 2000, she recommended herbal remedies but also encouraged Indian patients to trust modern medicine. She describes both as gifts from the Creator. “I felt I was not a counselor, but people would talk to me and I would listen,” she said. “If they asked me, I’d say, ‘This is what I would do.’ ”
That subdued style is a hallmark of Dumas’ influence in Indian country, Bugbee says.
“People seem to come to her, and she directs them,” he said. “If there’s any kind of squabble, she settles it. She’s not real forceful about it. I don’t even know if she knows she’s doing it.” Bugbee said if Dumas were asked to do an opening invocation, she would say no. “But if you asked her to do a welcoming, she’d say, ‘Fine.'”
Viejas Chairman Anthony Pico, one of California’s most high-profile Indian leaders throughout the past twenty years, called Dumas “a major force” in promoting awareness of Kumeyaay culture to tribal youths as well as the public. “She’s a true warrior,” he said, “and someone who’s very, very valuable in the Kumeyaay community.”