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.
Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indian
“The Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians is a self-governing federally recognized Indian tribe exercising sovereign authority over the lands of the Ewiiaapaayp (Cuyapaipe) Indian Reservation. The Cuyapaipe Indian Reservation was established on February 10, 1891, following an Executive Order on January 12, 1891, and an Act of Congress.
The Mission Indian Relief Act of 1891 enacted recommendations of the Jackson-Kinney Report stating, “The history of the Mission Indians for a century may be written in four words: conversion, civilization, neglect, outrage… Justice and humanity alike demand the immediate action of Government to preserve for their occupation the fragments of land not already taken from them.” The late Tony J. Pinto (1914-2003), Ewiiaapaayp Tribal Chairman from 1967-2001, and his family members worked to preserve the cultural traditions of the Kumeyaays, including its Peon games and Bird Songs.
The Ewiiaapaayp Band’s tribal members govern themselves as a general council composed of all enrolled tribal members age 18 or above under its tribal constitution enacted and approved in 1973 and amended in 2002. Elected tribal officials are the chairman, vice-chairman, and treasurer/secretary.”
Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel
The Santa Ysabel Reservation is located about 40 miles east of Escondido, on Highway 76, south of Los Coyotes Reservation. Santa Ysabel is situated on the slopes of the Volcano Mountains, at nearly 4,500 feet. The rugged, wooded area provides a sense of solitude for the reservation’s residents.
The Santa Ysabel Band is part of the Kumeyaay Nation, which extends from San Diego and Imperial counties in California to 60 miles south of the Mexican border. The Kumeyaays are members of the Yuman language branch of the Hokan group. Included with the Kumeyaays in the Yuman branch are the PaiPais, Kiliwas, Cocopas, Mojaves, Maricopas, Quechans, Yavapais, Havasupais, and Hualapais. The Hokan language group is wide ranging, covering most of the coastal lands of southern California. It includes tribes as far north as the Kuroks of Northern California.
The tribe is governed by a council comprised of a tribe spokesman, a vice-spokesman, a secretary, a treasurer, a councilman, and a councilwoman. The tribe is in the process of developing a tribal court system. Its police department currently shares cross-jurisdiction with the county’s law enforcement officers.