The sun blazed down on the Library Quad the afternoon of April 10 as men and women from different Native American tribes came together for a Native American history celebration at Orange Coast College.

Hosted by the Multicultural Center, Student Equity and the dance troupe Red Boy Productions, the celebration paid homage to the legacy of Native Americans through music, dance and crafts.

Sophia Seaboy of the Sisseton Sioux tribe of South Dakota and Maggie Acosta of the Apache tribe ran a craft table with colored beads available for people to make keychains.

Michelle Castillo, from the Acjacheman tribe, gave a short talk on how Orange County has many ancient and sacred tribal lands that we may not know of, such as Bolsa Chica, the Back Bay and the land that Cal State Long Beach occupies. 

“A lot of people fear what they don’t know. A lot of people don’t know where they are standing,” Castillo said.

Castillo gave a blessing and said a prayer, letting students know that they can make their way back to Creator, no matter what they call it.

“I am nothing. I stand on the shoulder of giants. Creator, give us tolerance and understanding. Please bless these students here today and open up the road for them,” she said.

Different tribal dress was also on display, ranging from pale earth tones on dresses to intricate and vibrantly-colored handmade beadwork on moccasins.

Representatives from the Cree, the Navajo nation, the Tohono O’odham nation, the Acjacheman Indians (also called Juaneno Indians and one of the original peoples of Orange County), Apache, Sioux and Otomi/Yaqui tribes were represented.

Chico Meguinis from the Navajo nation sat and held his baby with wife Shayna, who is Cree, as she got ready for her dance.

Nanabah Kadenehii, 17, of the Navajo nation, began her Fancy Shawl Dance as Meguinis sang his song and drummed his drum. Her footwork was intricate as her sparkling shawl whipped around her face and body like wings. She looked at the ground as she danced, which Castillo explained beforehand was Kadenehii “looking for her medicine.”

Her hoop dance consisted of hoops that she continuously picked up and rolled off her limbs and body, seamlessly incorporating them as she moved.

Shayna Meguinis of the Cree, hand-sewed every silver on her dress and when she danced her Jingle Dress Dance, it sounded like thousands of sleigh bells.

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