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By Collin Breaux

On Aug. 13, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians 84B and other Native American communities will gather for a powwow at the Blas Aguilar Adobe grounds in San Juan Capistrano—and invite the public to attend.

Members of the regional Native American tribes—referred to as nations—gather annually for powwows.

“This is just one of those annual gatherings where we’re involving more than just the Juaneño people,” said Domingo Beladres, curator for the Blas Aguilar Adobe, which has been maintained over time and is now a museum displaying artifacts and information about the Indigenous people of San Juan. “With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s just nice to get different cultures together and share.”

The Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum. Photo: Collin Breaux

The event will feature arts and crafts vendors, food, and resources for Native Americans. There will also be a dancing competition in which drums are welcome.

The powwow market will open at 10 a.m. and the general “grand entry” will start at 1 p.m.

“We hope it’s going to go well. We always get people that are interested in learning more about the Acjachemen,” said Sean Acuna, chairman of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, on expectations ahead of the public being invited. “Here’s an opportunity. The Blas represents a place where they can learn more about our culture.”

Belardes said the event and general Blas Aguilar Adobe grounds are intended to honor “the ancestors, our people.”

“There’s a village here,” Belardes said. “We’re sharing our culture with the community. We’re still here. We’re still active. We want to share our connection to the natural world, to our surroundings.”

The Blas Aguilar Adobe is located at 31806 El Camino Real in downtown San Juan Capistrano, near Historic Town Center Park and Camino Real Playhouse.

Collin Breaux

Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com.

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