In the final weekend of September, thousands gathered at the annual Ohana Festival in Dana Point. The opening ceremony took place on the main stage Friday, September 30th, signaling the kick-off of the weekend’s festivities. Going on its sixth year, the festival has united the joy of music with the knowledge of sustainability. Recognizing many local tribal groups, the festival opened with a cultural blessing. These indigenous groups inhabited and inherited the land the festival was held on–centuries before being suburbanized. Through traditional ceremonial prayers, the tribes married their past customs with new ones of today. Beautifully demonstrated, the audience was transported into a deeper connection with the surrounding Earth. Giving a public platform for the indigenous peoples to showcase their culture strengthens knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of those who originated on this land. 

The 2022 Ohana Festival was set off to a beautifully powerful start, rooted within the opening ceremony. The ceremony brought together the Indigenous peoples native to the Southern California coast to share the traditions of their homelands in a live prayer and blessing.  The peoples from the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, the Pauma Reservation, the Acjachemen Nation, and Native Hawaii demonstrated their cultural blessings through song, dance, and prayers are spoken in both English and their native languages. Miss Kumeyaay Nation 2022-2023, Priscilla LaChappa of the Iipay Nation, was in attendance alongside prominent members of the tribal nations including Rebecca Robles and Chris Devers.

Emotions ran high as the ancient culture enveloped the audience and venue in centuries worth of historical unity. With National Indigenous Peoples Day following Monday, October 10th, the acknowledgment of these tribes and their triumphs were carried out in the best timely fashion.