Nation honors all Veterans with pow-wow
By Don Decker, YAN News
Veterans arrived at the Veteran’s Park below the casino November 11, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. where they were honored with special songs from the Gourd Dance Society with special songs by Ted Pavatea’s Southern Drum group from the Hopi Nation and Northern singers led by Robert Sugnevahya. After lunch for the community, Larry Jackson, Sr. and color guards Lawrence Jackson and Brian Marquez, all of Yavapai-Apache Nation, posted the colors at the beginning of the pow-wow.
Brian Marquez and Lawrence Jackson, Jr. are Veterans of Foreign Wars while Larry Jackson, Sr. served state-side serving in the U.S. Army for 25 years and retired from there.
At 1:30 that afternoon, a special ceremony was held for the Veterans and a special recognition by Vice Chairman Larry Jackson, Sr. who called all veterans in attendance forward for an honor song and special gifts consisting of the Nation’s official logo baseball with ‘Veterans’ embroidered in yellow next to the logo. In addition, gifts baskets assembled by Margie Campos from the Public Relations department of the Nation also added 3” miniature holiday Pendleton designer blanket stockings stuffed with an animal figure to the spouses of the Veterans to wear on their lapel for the holidays.
The oldest member of the honored Veterans was Stanley Jackson, 91, of Yavapai-Apache Nation who resides in Clarkdale and Neil Lewis. Jackson (is the father of Vice Chairman Larry Jackson, Sr.) served in the South Pacific Theater and Lewis who served in both the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army. Lewis, was stationed on the Aleutian Island in Dutch Harbor during the 50s’. Lewis also recalls the time when Daniel Tapija also served on the Aleutian Island off the coast of Alaska.
Other veterans from the Nation included Brian Marquez who served in the Marines and the U.S. Army and Cameron Grey, U.S. Marines, who is a Vietnam Veteran from the Salt River Indian community married into the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
Ron Juan, traditional Quechan singer bestowed upon Doug Juan (no relation) of the Gila River Nation a folded U.S. flag as special recognition for Doug Juan services in the armed forces. Doug Juan served with the U.S. Air Cavalry in the Vietnam War.
The 2 Juans did not know each other before the special honor by Ron Juan.
Ron Juan, traditional gourd singer from the Quechan Nation in Yuma, who resides on the Yavapai-Apache Nation in Middle Verde, sang traditional Bird Dance songs assisted by young Yavapai-Apache boys as Yavapai-Apache female Bird dancers joined in.
A noon luncheon consisting of traditional food made locally on the Nation was served to all the guests.
Robert Tree Cody, a flutist, Canyon Records recording artist who is the stepson of the late Hollywood movie actor Iron Eyes Cody (seen in 70’s TV commercials with a tear coming down his check defending clean environment), emceed the pow-wow.
Cody resides in one of the Pueblos north of Bernalillo, New Mexico with his significant other. Cody was humorous and got most of the people laughing and even though there was a smaller crowd this year than last year, practically all of the dancers in the competition were paid cash prizes for winning in their categories.
The dancers who were judged for their regalia and their style of dancing. Everyone enjoyed themselves this Veteran’s Day.
YAN News photos