Youth Program Passes On Tribal Traditions to New Generations

Mark Macarro serves as the tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California. An elected official in tribal government, Mark Macarro holds the responsibility of leading the Pechanga Tribal Council in upholding the Pechanga Constitution, ordinances, and bylaws. Members of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians honor their heritage, and educate newer generations about their history through the Pechanga Cultural Center.

In order to keep tribal culture and traditions alive, the center manages a summer program designed to teach children ages 12 through 17 about the traditional passing of knowledge from one generation to the next. Currently in its 10th year, the Traditional Knowledge Summer Youth Program introduces participants to the skills and ways of life of the Luiseño People. It also holds the objective of teaching children who complete the program to become future program teachers and administrators.

Participants learn about and engage in activities that include fashioning arrow and arrowheads, pottery, basket-weaving, tule canoes, and various traditional games. The program also familiarizes young people with traditional foods, such as pine nut soup, cherry pit mush, and yucca and Indian potato.

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