A Center of Living Tradition
holds a crucial place in the life of Native peoples. It is the
expression and continuation of their relationship to the Earth
and their own history. Ceremony is an anchor for identity for
tribes, families and individuals.
Canyon has always welcomed tribal people in need of a place to
perform their traditional ceremonies. This is sacred
ground, blessed by the elders and the ancestors for the purpose
of carrying on the living tradition of ceremony for Native people
throughout California and beyond.
Sweat lodge frames, fire circles, arbor and dancing grounds
are clustered throughout the canyon. Tribal members and others
come for vision quest, sweat lodge, coming-of-age rituals, naming
ceremonies, and other rituals.
Bear Dance is an ancient traditional healing ceremony taking
place annually in Indian Canyon. Native Americans dance as
bears, become bears, circling around the sacred fire giving
blessings for all those present in the circle as well as for the
Other ceremonies include the
Moon Festival, and the Story Telling Festival such as
the one on
Saturday May 25, 2002. From time to time, Ann-Marie
tells the story of why the turtle has a cracked shell, such as on
February 24, 2002.
Canyon’s remoteness serves these people, provides refuge for
retreat and reconnection, and a site for prayer and ceremony
without the obstacles of campground reservations and rules or
midnight park-ranger flashlights. A Village House will extend
this use by allowing for more night and winter ceremonies, and by
providing protection for elders and young children.