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By Breeana Greenberg

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the Fountains at Sea Bluffs, a Watermark retirement community in Dana Point, held its first Pow Wow on Nov. 16.

About 100 residents gathered to observe and participate in the sacred social gathering to honor Native American culture.

When Community Life Director Georgia Edmundson joined The Fountains at Sea Bluffs, she was eager to share her Native American culture with residents.

Over the 10 years that she has worked at the retirement community, Edmundson made baskets, sang songs, and played games with residents, “which have all given residents new insight into Native American culture by having them take part in some of our traditions.”

World Champion hoop dancer Nanabah Kadeniihii performs at a Nov. 16 Pow Wow held at The Fountains at Sea Bluffs. Photo: Courtesy of the Fountains at Sea Bluffs

Edmundson organized the event with the help of her aunt, Jacque Tahuka Nunez, who oversees Pow Wows as Mistress of Ceremonies throughout the region.

Through her company, Journeys to the Past, Tahuka Nunez brings awareness to the preservation of Native American culture. She shares stories and songs from her Acjachemen Nation ancestors. The Pow Wow was a new and unique experience for residents, Edmundson said.

“We were so excited to introduce our residents to even more Native American traditions through this Pow Wow; we know that education builds understanding and respect,” Edmundson said in a press release. “Native Americans are here, we are thriving, and we always look forward to opportunities like this to share a bit more about who we are. On Tuesday (Nov. 16), we paid tribute, together, to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.”

Residents enjoyed fry bread made from a recipe unique to the Acjachemen Nation and a performance by World Champion fancy dancer Ronnie Alboa. Fancy Dance is often performed at Pow Wows.

“Sharing our culture to lift up one’s understanding of our people, our traditions, while honoring all of humanity, has been my goal for 30 years,” Tahuka Nunez said in the release. She added that she finds the Pow Wows especially effective at “showing us we are more alike than we are different, because we share our hearts throughout the event.”

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at bgreenberg@picketfencemedia.com

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