California Native American Nations of the Month
One of our big projects in 2020 was securing the $30,000 Beyond the Net Grant from the Internet Society Foundation to help get better internet access for 9,000+ California Native American people living on tribal land in eastern San Diego County. We’re working with a partner organization, the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Alliance which serves 20+ tribes in that area. For the next few months, we’ll be profiling tribes that are benefiting directly from our chapter’s work.
Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians
“The present-day reservation is located within the ancestral lands of the tribe on the site of an ancient community called Paui. The reservation was established by Executive Order on December 27, 1875. The acreage was increased on March 14, 1877, and was reduced two months later. The land base increased again with additions on April 14, 1926, and March 4, 1931, bringing the reservation to its present total area of 18,884 acres. All land is held in trust. Only 2,000 acres belong to the tribe in common; the remainder is allotted to individual members of the Cahuilla Band.
“Members of the Cahuilla tribe have long resided in the area of southern California where the present reservation exists. The language of the Cahuilla people belongs to the Takic branch of the Uto-Aztecan greater linguistic family. Elder reservation residents continue to speak their ancestral language. Some forms of traditional music, such as Bird Songs and Peon Songs, remain important and are performed regularly on social occasions.
“Members age 21 or older make up the tribe’s general council, and they elect a tribal council every two years. Tribal council officers include a chairperson, vice-chairperson, a tribal administrator, and two council members. The tribal council also serves as the Overall Economic Development Committee. Additional committees are formed around issue-specific concerns such as personnel, economic development (Cahuilla Economic Ad Hoc Committee/C.E.A), housing (All Mission Indian Housing Authority/A.M.I.H.A), health (Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health), and education (Title V). The standing committees function within established policies and procedures. The tribe is organized under a non-IRA constitution which was revised in 1983. It is a PL-638 Tribe.”
Campo Band of Kumeyaay Indians
“The Campo Indian Reservation is located in southeastern San Diego County atop the Laguna Mountains. The reservation was established on 710 acres on February 10, 1893, following an Executive Order on January 12, 1891. Eighty acres were added on February 2, 1907, and 13,610 acres were added on December 14, 1911. Later additions brought the reservation to its current size. All land on Campo is tribal-owned land; there are presently no allotments or assignments.
“The Campo people are part of the Kumeyaay Indian Tribe, whose historic territory reached from northern San Diego County to the Salton Sea and 50 miles into Baja California. The Kumeyaays first encountered Spanish explorers in 1542. Over the next 200 years, the Spanish continued to arrive along the Pacific coast and venture inland. Contact between the Spanish and the Kumeyaays was violent, but the Kumeyaays managed to escape capture or confinement numerous times.
“The tribe is organized under a non-IRA Constitution that established a legislative branch, an executive branch, and a judicial branch. The seven-member elected executive committee includes a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, and treasurer. Officers serve four-year terms. The executive committee serves as the overall economic development plan committee as well. The judicial branch represents the tribe in matters involving the BIA, the federal and state courts, and the tribal environmental court.”