On Tuesday, September 4th, we were invited to Pomona College to perform a healing ceremony as part of Pomona College’s 125th Anniversary Celebrations. This was a big deal, for it was the first time that Pomona College had included any of the local tribes in any official Pomona event!
After getting there at 5:30, we set up, making sure that everything was prepared for the night’s events. Dinner was at 6, followed by the Aztec dancers, then it was time for the Ohlone drums to lead everyone to the Greek theater. With Chief Cerda at its head, the procession wound its way from Frank Dining Hall through the Theater Department, and arriving at the Sontag Greek Theater.
President David Oxtoby was introduced and gave a speech welcoming all to the event. Up next were the White Rose Singers from Sherman Indian High School. Then it was time for the healing ceremony to begin. Chief Cerda started out the event by singing songs to call the ancestors to help with the ceremony. The Humaya dancers danced around the fire. Many Pomona community members, Sherman students, and others, stayed, danced with the bears and Ohlone, and generally had a very positive experience from the ceremony.
Said Chief Cerda of the event: “It was an honor to be asked to do the Ceremony at the 125th Anniversary of Pomona College. It was a great feeling to do this healing ceremony for the people, for the land. The people and the land needed this ceremony. We, as descendents of some of the original people of this land, are always doing what we can to preserve and protect the land and culture of this area. Shururu”