Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians celebrate new administration plaza
Monica Rascon/La Prensa Hispana
Smiling faces among the Tribal members and their well wishing supporters joined in celebration as they walked in awe through the marvelous facilities. Plush would be a good word for the office suites; but humble would be the best word for how the most successful tribe in the Coachella Valley accepted their good fortune.
Tribal Chairman Richard Milanovich was filled with emotion as he watched the Agua Caliente Band Bird Singers ceremoniously bring ancient sounds into the building. Chairman Milanovich stood proud and a bit teary eyed as he watched his son Sean Milanovich participate in the story telling art. Bird Singers recount stories of migration that are passed on through generations preserving language, traditions, history and recount the endless trials of hardship over many centuries. Perhaps these stories being told in their own native language was what was prompting a solemn resolve amidst such splendor. Memories of ancestral struggles accented the celebration and provided a spiritual grounding.
The celebration was attended by many dignitaries and a legislative resolution was presented on behalf of State Senator Jim Battin. Tribal council Treasurer Moriano Patencio describes the building as a “one stop shop for all the tribal needs.” Long time tribal friends such as Rancho Mirage City Council man Richard Kite and Ernest Noia who sold the building and lands for the office to the tribe were elated with the end results. “Every where you look there is a sense of artistry and a well defined feel of fitting the environment” commented one participant who had traveled from the Imperial Valley to honor this moment. Photos by Juan Vasquez. See photos on page 9.