Members of the Kumeyaay tribe dance at a San Diego rally in 2019. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego American Indian Health Center hosts the free Balboa Park Pow Wow Saturday and Sunday at the corner of Park Boulevard and President’s Way.

This year the event, which includes various native tribes, bands and communities, will recognize the late actor Saginaw Grant for his leadership and contributions to the American Indian community.

Pow Wows are traditional spiritual and cultural events that celebrate traditions as well as passing them from generation to generation. They also offer a spiritual experience for American Indians and a time to recognize elders and ancestors, while raising cultural awareness within the greater San Diego community.

“Pow Wows are gatherings of American Indian/Alaskan Native nations to celebrate and perpetuate their beautiful traditions of drumming, singing, dancing, prayers, and kinship. We invite everyone to come and share the experience,” said Randy Edmonds, a community elder and leader, who will serve as the event emcee. 

Each day begins at 10 a.m. with a recognition of the Kumeyaay people, whose homelands include Balboa Park, with bird songs, followed by gourd dancing, inter-tribal dancing and honorings. 

Vendors will sell handmade jewelry, pottery, baskets, clothing and a variety of other crafts and goods as well as American Indian dishes such as fry bread and Indian tacos.

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