Story and Photos by Pat Krause
Dinner in the Canyons 2011 was held at the Magnificent Palm Oasis of Andreas Canyon. The Canyon was the Ancestral Home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Museum and all its programs. Approximately, 400 guests arrived to be greeted by Museum Officials as they walked a Red Carpet. Guests parked below and were bussed up the long driveway to the Canyons.
A cocktail reception was held in the overlook area where guests are surrounded by huge rocky areas, fantastic old palm trees, and they can also see the most spectacular view of the Valley. A flautist played traditional Indian music where cocktails were served. The guests walked another Red Carpet to the dining area.
The opening entertainment was provided by the White Rose Singers from Sherman Indian High School in Riverside. They are the first all-female Hand Drum Group, and members come from many tribes all over the western states.
Richard M. Milanovich was honored for his years of service to the Tribe. He was involved with the start of the Museum since the beginning. He was instrumental is making the Museum happen. He chaired the organizing committee and has been a mainstay at all events since. He has served in various ways for the Tribe for the last 30 years. He was gifted with a painting of the first all women tribal council. He knew and remembered each and every one of them. The painting will hang in the museum for all to see. A video was shown that told of his work with the tribes. He was truly touched by the honor.
The feature entertainer was Buffy Saint-Marie. She became famous in the 60’s with the award-winning songs she wrote and some, she sang. One song was even awarded an Oscar, and many others received other awards. She has gotten many awards for her works in behalf of the Indian Tribes.
The museum was built to collect, protect and preserve Indian culture. They want to keep their culture alive for all generations to see and share. The Museum provides exhibitions, cultural festivals and other programs to local residents and visitors to our area. They keep the spirit alive thru education, research,and the many collections of Indian artifacts.
Photos by Pat Krause