background image

SRPMIC Celebrates Native American Day

Community member RJ Lopez, hoop dance champion, performs at the Native American Day program.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community celebrated Native American Day on September 26 with a variety of cultural events at the Two Waters Courtyard.

The festivities included a traditional-clothing fashion show and special lunch guest chefs at the Round House Café. For lunch, chefs Stephen Folmar and Margie Wilson, both of Casino Arizona, made braised roasted pork with red chile glaze, squash medley, tepary beans and Southwestern risotto.

Artisan vendors set up in the courtyard for most of the day. In the evening, dance groups performed and the first 500 guests enjoyed a free meal of green chile pork, poshol, squash and corn with cheese, and lazy bread.

Dance groups performed, including Community member and hoop dance champion RJ Lopez. Birds Singing and Dancing by the River, Cibecue Creek, Turtle Creek Dancers, Dancing Earth and Que-Hola Dance group also entertained the guests.

The Miss Salt River and Jr. Miss Salt River delegation gave the welcome and blessing.

“Our tribe is able to provide for its people because it has retained its sovereign right,” said Miss Salt River Mikah Carlos. “As Native people, our being here and having days like today that celebrate our Native culture speaks to our strength and the resiliency of our ancestors, who fought for us to be here. They challenged decades of colonization and assimilation, and we are living proof of their persistence. We must learn our language, songs and teaching so one day we can pass it on to future generations so that they get to celebrate Native American Day.”

In recognition of Native American Day, tribal offices were closed on September 29.