, 2022-05-14 02:00:00,
Being a good tribal leader today means being able to enrich the indigenous community by fostering the growth and education of its youth.
For many Kumeyaay youth in San Diego County, that inspiration comes from Paul Cuero Jr.
The former president of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation was honored Saturday during the 34th annual Balboa Park Powwow.
Dozens of indigenous dancers, vendors and hundreds of spectators gathered in the park for the first day of the powwowIt draws tribal members from all over the country.
Each year, the San Diego American Indian Health Center, which hosts the powwow, chooses to honor local Indians for the contributions they have made to their community.
On Saturday afternoon, the committee honored Cuero for his commitment to his tribe, advocacy on behalf of the indigenous community, and dedication to preserving Kumeyaay traditions through his work with tribal youth.
Cuero was sick in the hospital with an infection and was unable to attend the powwow, so his friend, Steve Banegas of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, spoke on his behalf before singing Kumeyaay bird songs with a group of men.
Having learned side by side with the Kumeyaay elders themselves, Banegas described Cuero as spiritually more like a brother than a…
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