SRPMIC Celebrates Thanksgiving With Annual Community Gathering
There was something for everyone at this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
The SRPMIC-sponsored feast on November 16 was held at the Two Waters Courtyard and featured all types of entertainment, including waila music by Ramoncito & Co. But the main attraction was the delicious menu: turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, beans, corn, squash, cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin pie. The meal was served in the Round House Café by staff, SPRMIC Council members, members of the Young River People’s Council and others.
The annual free feast attracts dozens of people to Two Waters, allowing time and space for family and friends to enjoy a social meal. Guests could eat inside or in the courtyard on the many tables especially set up for the event.
Before the meal, Miss Salt River Manderee Jose gave a blessing and the Salt River Girl Scouts troops recited the Pledge of Allegiance. SRPMIC President Martin Harvier and Vice-President Ricardo Leonard each shared a welcome message. Ki-Ana Reina was the event’s emcee.
Both Harvier and Leonard talked about the Community’s history of coming together for social gatherings long before U.S. holidays.
“Today is really an opportunity to give thanks for the opportunity we have,” Harvier said.
“Thanksgiving has never been about that day; it has always been about family for Indian people,” Leonard added. “It’s always been a day to get together and break bread, cut that turkey up. Probably a long time ago it was rabbit and what else.”
Ramoncito & Co., led by Community member Ramon Lopez, performed throughout the feast. Other performances included the SRPMIC Traditional Dancers and Bird Singing & Dancing by the River.
Raffles and prizes were given out. One of the top prizes was a flat-screen TV, which was awarded to the best turkey caller.
An arts and crafts tent was set up, along with an obstacle course and flag football space in the designated kids’ area near the playground. Kids also won some door prizes.
The next SRPMIC-sponsored event is the Community Christmas program and Light Parade, set for December 14 at Two Waters.