San Pasqual Archers take aim
July 16, 2014Archery has long been a skill for hunting and defense of land and tribe for Native Americans. It is a large part of their history and culture. To help preserve that part of their heritage, the San Pasqual Band of Indians formed a youth archery program.
As part of the program, reservation youth are given an opportunity to not only learn the skills and discipline required in the use of bow and arrow, but also how important that skill was to the survival of their people and their culture.
It takes patience, concentration, and practice for this archer to hit his target. The San Pasqual Archers will compete in August against archers from across Southern California. photo by Ray Flores / Valley Roadrunner.
The youngsters from grades four to eight have been introduced to the methods in the art of bow and arrow construction and the types of materials used by their early Native American ancestors. On a recent field trip to the San Pasqual Archeological Center in the San Pasqual Valley, they learned the way of life of the early Native Americans who lived in this region and gained some insight as to how this relates to them and their newly found interest in the sport of archery.
A planned field trip to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista will help them to realize that archery is a valuable sport with the possibility of an opportunity for scholarships and, for those who excel at the sport, a place on the Olympic team.
Under the supervision and direction of their Tribal Mentor Victor Navarro and Americorp Mentor Isaac Perez, they are learning the basics of archery, safety, and skills. All the equipment required has been provided by the San Pasqual Tribal Council. Only a desire to learn and participate is required.
As they progress in archery, the San Pasqual youth and the Barona Band of Mission Indians will compete against 40 other middle schools in archery events in Southern California to begin in August.