On August 22, 2015, Viejas Annual Traditional Gathering and Peon Tournament was held.

This event is held at the Viejas Indian Reservation in San Diego. Amongst the festivities of the day a respected young lady was crowned Miss Kumeyaay Nation. Autumn Brown will represent the youth of the Kumeyaay tribe. This is an honorable position that was earned.

On August 17th a panel of former queens and elders held interviews at the Viejas Tribal Hall to see which young lady would best qualify as a representative. This is not your typical beauty pageant where you think of girls parading in swimsuits. As Miss Kumeyaay Nation you are representing your people, customs, traditions and setting an example for the future generations.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Miss Brown to get to know more about her and what it means to her to carry such an important title. Miss Autumn Brown is a San Diego Native. She was raised on the Viejas Indian Reservation, one of the 18 bands of the Kumeyaay sovereign nation. She is one of four children, two older brothers who are attending college and one younger brother who is attending high school. Her parents brought her up in the traditional culture. She has been singing the traditional bird songs since she was very small.

Autumn enrolled in additional specialized courses taught by Kumeyaay instructors. From their guidance, she learned how to create the traditional clay pottery, weave baskets made of juncus, shape and produce several useful tools and sew traditional ribbon dresses.

Autumn emphasized that the Kumeyaay are not the stereotype that people think of Native Americans to be. Autumn explained that a lot of people have the wrong impression of them. They don't see us going the extra mile.

Autumn expressed that the Kumeyaay are strong people, good leaders, culturally oriented and have been here for thousands of years. We are not people of the past; we have always been here and always will be here.

"It is important we keep our language alive.It was almost lost as the elders that spoke it, passed away."

Fortunately with the collaboration of the elders a dictionary was written and the language class was developed. Autumn speaks a dialect of the Kumeyaay language as well.

The Chairman of Viejas, Robert Welch Jr. congratulated her and offered his support. His Native pride was evident. Autumn recently graduated from high school and will be attending Cal State San Marcos this fall.

Sacred Pipe Tobacco Use and Prevention Education (TUPE) Program – Tobacco Cultural Knowledge, prevention education and social media awareness. Cultural activities, projects meditation, stress management and cessation groups. Locations and Time: Wednesdays at SCAIR from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. and 1st & 3rd Thursdays of each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Diego American Indian Youth Center. More information, contact Kathy or Julie at (619) 328-0676, ext. 202
The following events are OPEN to EVERYONE!!
Held at the Ballard Parent Center - Located in Old Town at 2375 Congress St. San Diego, CA  92110
Tuesday, June 2, 2015. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cultural Awareness “Pow Wow Dance” Workshop – Inter-Tribal Everyone!!! This Pow Wow Workshop will be our last one this School Year, so bring your family, energy and dancing feet as we celebrate a great year. Potluck Dinner, bring a side dish, salad or fruit to share.
Thursday, May 29, 2015 @ 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Room 3, Our Last Beading Workshop -  A fun filled evening to finish our projects and share a few good stories. All supplies will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own supplies as well. Potluck Dinner - Please bring a side dish, salad, fruit or dessert to share.
CANCELLED Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cultural Awareness Workshop “Awards of Appreciation” CANCELLED –  We apologize our event will be cancelled due to other events scheduled. We are very proud of all the promoting students towards higher education and congratulations to all the graduates. Keep up the GREAT WORK!!
TUTORING: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons by appointment in Rm. 3.  In collaboration with Southern California American Indian Resource (SCAIR) Center, We provide assistance in math, reading, writing, social studies and science from introductory to advanced for all subjects.  We also help with college preparation, standardized testing, scholarships and financial aid. Summer reading and algebra workshops begin at the end of June. Also counseling services are available by appointment only to Students, Individuals and Families. Please contact us to enroll your student.
Save the Dates! June 29 – August 19, 2015 Mondays & Wednesdays @ 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  for American Indian/Alaskan Native Students Grade K-8 in San Diego County. Our Summer Tutorial will help meet the challenges of math, reading, writing, speaking, listening and language through educational hands-on activities aligned to each of the Common Core State Standards. Keep an eye out for our workshop schedule, including a 2 day tour of Old Town San Diego. 
For more questions or information please contact 
Connie GreyBull at (619) 293-4427 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
“Let’s put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children”
 – Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotanka), Lakota of Standing Rock Sioux Tribes.

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