Dragonfly Gala to Celebrate Native Plants

The Dorothy Ramon Learning Center’s 2012 Dragonfly Gala is a celebration of native plants. The gala, set for Saturday, Aug. 11, is a fundraiser for the learning center, a nonprofit organization in Banning dedicated to preserving and sharing Southern California Native American cultures.

Hundreds of plants growing in Southern California canyons, deserts and mountains and along the coastline offered hundreds of uses for Southern California’s first peoples. Whether a strong medicine (creosote), a healthy food (mesquite pods), fibers for cordage, clothing, sandals and tools (yucca), native plants were essential to life.
 
Centuries later, plants remain rooted in Native American cultures.
 
The gala will feature demonstrations and exhibits on Native American uses of native plants. The scheduled speakers include Daniel McCarthy, leader of Malki Museum’s annual agave harvest and co-author of a book on the medicinal uses of plants; and Leslie Mouriquand, whose research into traditional plant uses led her to create soaps, salves and healthy dishes.
 
This year’s gala honors elders Barbara Drake and Lorene Sisquoc for their achievements in helping save and share Southern California Native American cultures.
 
And as always, the gala will feature a feast, silent auction and traditional bird-singing, dancing and flute music.
 
The gala will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Morongo Community Center, 13000 Malki Road, on the Morongo Reservation near Banning. Tickets are $40. Table sponsorships are available, as well, for $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000.
 
For tickets, contact Ernest and June Siva at 951-849-4676 or siva@dishmail.net
 
The Press-Enterprise
Published: Friday June 29th,2012