National recognition of Native American Heritage Month
By Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz
| Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | November 16, 2012
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
For more than 10,000 years, Luiseno ancestors inhabited the land that is now know as Camp Pendleton.
In honor of the Luiseno culture and their people, the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians held a gathering at the Las Flores Ranch here Nov. 3.
"Our culture is an ongoing thing. It's not stuck in the past," said Mel Vernon, who spoke during the gathering about the importance of his culture and past.
Vernon, who is a captain of the band of Indians, reflected on the significance of National Native American Heritage Month.
"It's important to remember that this is a place where people were here before us, and there will be people here after us," said Danielle Page, Camp Pendleton's cultural resources branch head.
During the event, men sang of their people’s migration across California while others sang inter-tribal songs to the rhythmic beat of a drum. A traditional meal was also prepared.
“This event is important because it reconnects the people to the land, which is something we don’t often get to do,” said Vernon.