Now in its 14th year, this is our longest running program, offering a
"holistic, indigenous, approach to education."
We weave wellness, culture, leadership
and academic enrichment into a life-changing experience.
Explore San Diego's best Universities,
Colleges, Native Communities, and environments with nationally recognized instructors and mentors.
Inter-Tribal scholars and staff from across the state and nation gather to exchange knowledge and
share respect for Native culture. Group size is limited to 20 students, with trained staff chaperone
*Airport pick-up, if needed, will be provided by our staff.
Day 1: University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Arrival Day. After Greetings and Orientation, participants check-into "dorm rooms."
UCSD sits on high bluffs aside majestic views of the Pacific Ocean. This was once an important Kumeyaay
village site. Today it marks the starting point for our educational journey in knowledge of self, others
and greater horizons.
Day 2: University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Start the morning on the beach with the options of yoga and surfing. After breakfast on campus,
participants will begin a seminar in Music, Culture, Language, and Writing (MCLW) taught by Scholar
in Residence, Composer and Performer: Dr. Alan Lechusza (La Jolla/Luiseno, Maidu). Working
together, students break down the boundries of western education, opening new horizons of self-expression
and thought. After lunch, we take a guided tour of the campus. After dinner, we take in the natural
beauty of Torrey Pines State Park on a tour of Coastal Indigenous Science led by Purdue University. We
observe the plants and earth that we must help preserve for future generations, and enjoy the sunset over
the Pacific before returning to campus.
Day 3: University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
After morning refreshments, we take a trip down to UCSD's world famous Scripps Institute of
Oceanography and Birch Aquarium. World-renowned scientists will guide our tour and help us understand
our vital relationship with the ocean and its life. We'll have lunch in the park overlooking the
beach, then launch our Kayaks around La Jolla Cove. Students will have an opportunity to snorkel in the
protected waters of the calm bay and cove. A short time to practice surfing and body-boarding skills will
also be an option. Purdue University staff will teach us the subtle importance of coastal geology. We
finish the evening fire-side on the beach with local Cultural Story-Tellers and Bird Singers refreshing
our coastal spirit.
Day 4, 5, 6: San Diego State University (SDSU), San Diego Reservation Tour: Barona, Viejas
We pack up and take a short drive to San Diego State University (SDSU). We experience the second branch of the
California’ State University “CSU” System. We note the differences, similarities and advantages. SDSU has a new
office of cultural diversity and they make a warm welcome for our youth. A panel of Native Students and
Teachers talk informally with our group and exchange gifts.
We embark on a Tour of three of San Diego’s 17 Indian reservations for a day of hosted events and visits. We
stop at the award-winning Barona Cultural Center, where Ipay and Kumeyaay culture is restored. During a Mock
Tribal Youth Council, students take on the role of Tribal Leaders, gaining experience in sovereign decision-making
on behalf of the community. After lunch, we head to the mountains where the water still flows through Native
hands. We set up camp at La Jolla Indian Reservation Campground and refresh ourselves in the shaded river.
Before, sundown, we continue our Music and Writing Seminar. Dr. Lechusza joins us fireside with his ensemble
for a live performance and discussion.
Day 7, 8, 9: La Jolla Reservation Campground, Indian Health Council, Inc. Clinic, Pala Reservation, CSU San Marcos
After a light breakfast, Purdue University and local tribal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead
us on a walk, observing the subtle importance of the land. For lunch we head down the mountain to the
Rincon Reservation. IHC hosts us as we explore career possibilities in health. Students learn about Culinary Arts,
how to identify quality organic produce at Pauma-Tierra Miguel Foundation Organic Farm, and how to work as a
team to prepare food for better health. After we fill up, we return to the Campsite for relaxation,
burnt marshmallows, and cultural story-telling.
We leave campsite and head down the Mountain. We take time for morning Recreation before a Cultural Center
Tour at Pala Reservation. The Tour opens our eyes to advanced thinking on how balancing gaming revenue
can benefit youth and community. After speaking with leaders and youth, we drive back to UCSD. We take
rest and after dinner continue our seminar in Music and Writing. Inspired by our days together, we take
this night to share each of our cultural backgrounds.
Day 10, 11: Cal State San Marcos
One of the newest and most progressive universities in the CSU system, San Marcos is
where the flagship California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center resides. A
progressive center, our hosts, lead us through life at CSUSM and customize two special
days of programming.
Day 12, 13, 14: UC San Diego
Pathways to college are reviewed in detail and students are prepared with academic planners
and a new focus on life-goals. Writing workshops and projects are finalized as we prepare to
celebrate each one's accomplishments. We spend another day in the water to round off our tour.
Re-uniting with the ocean and beach is always a refreshing way to maintain balance. We will
casually evaluate how far we all have come in such a short time. A life-changing experience
sets in as we prepare to return home.
Our tour and personal journey with students ends for now as we transition and continue on
the path of success, enlightened, and refreshed in mind and spirit. We will have a Lunch
Recognition of participants and wish everyone well as we continue to make a better world
for ourselves, our families and future generations.