Posted: Monday, October 16, 2017 – 1:34 PM
“Me yah whae,” says Mildred Browne as she warmly greets 400 guests arriving at a palm tree oasis in Andreas Canyon, high above the desert floor for the 26th annual “Dinner in the Canyons,” benefiting the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.
Browne, who is board chair of the Agua Caliente, has reason to smile as her dream of a permanent museum complex featuring the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has just been approval by the tribe.
For 26 years, they have gathered in this spiritual and sacred place to remember their history and culture in a place that has been home to the Agua Caliente people for centuries.
Approximately 400 people rode the shuttle buses to the edge of the oasis. Here, with native entertainment provided by the Pai-Nik-Tem clan of bird singers, guests enjoyed a spectacular sunset reception and a silent, Native American-themed auction.
Steven Rushingwind, an indigenous native flute musician, along with the Native Grove, provided the after-dinner entertainment.
The Agua Caliente band is a historic, Palm Springs-based tribe with more than 480 members, charged with providing a protected bighorn sheep habitat.
With more than 2,250 team members working within various developments, Agua Caliente Band is considered one of the Coachella Valley’s largest employers, staffing its two luxury spas and casinos located in downtown Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.
The museum hosts visitors from around the globe, who learn about the Agua Caliente Band of Caliente Indians and other native cultures. This non-profit is the first Native American museum to be part of the Smithsonian Institutions Affiliations Program, and provides exhibits about the tribe’s history and culture.
It is located on the historic Village Green in downtown Palm Springs (219 S. Palm Canyon Dr.) and open to individuals, families and group free of charge. Plans have such been approved to begin a modern, multi-million museum and spa on the site of the now demolished Spa Casino. Information is at 760-833-8167.