Pala Indian Reservation
Coordinates: The Pala Indian Reservation is located in the middle San Luis Rey River Valley in northern San Diego County, California, east of the community of Fallbrook, and has been assigned feature ID 272502. Historic variant names used to describe the area include Mission Indian Reservation and Mission Indian Reserve. The reservation has a land area of 52.163 km² (20.140 sq mi) and reported an official resident population of 1,573 persons in the 2000 census, about 44 percent of whom were of solely Native American heritage. Robert H. Smith is the Tribal Chairman.
The reservation occupies parts of four 7.5 minute topographic maps: Boucher Hill, Pala, Pechanga, and Vail Lake, California. The area consists of area in and around Pala, California. The enrolled tribal members descend from two Indian groups: a band of the Luiseño tribe, and the Cupeño Indians.
The tribe has about 1,000 members. It is a federally recognized Indian tribe. The Cupeño people were evicted in 1901 from their ancestral homeland, called Kupa, on what is now called Warner's Ranch east of Pala. This event is referred to by the tribe as the "Cupeño Trail of Tears." Upon their eviction, the Luiseños at Pala offered them a haven.
During the mission period of Spanish colonial times, Pala was the site of San Antonio de Pala Asistencia, an asistencia – an arm of the Catholic Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, downstream toward the coast. The grounds of the former asistencia include a historic cemetery.
Traditionally a modest and sometimes poor tribe, the Pala Band now has one of the largest and most successful casinos and resort hotels in Southern California, Pala Casino Resort and Spa. It uses proceeds from the gaming and hospitality enterprises for social services, education, and infrastructure improvements to the reservation.
- Pala Reservation, California United States Census Bureau
- Bean, Lowell J. and Shipek, Florence C. (1978) "Luiseño," in 'California,' vol. 8, ed. Robert Heizer, Handbook of North American Indians (Wash., D. C.: Smithsonian Institution): 550–563.
- Bean, L. J. and Smith, Charles R., "Cupeño," Ibid, pp. 588–591.
- Hyer, Jose R., 2001. 'We Are Not Savages': Native Americans in Southern California and the Pala Reservation, 1840–1920 (E. Lansing: Michigan State University Press).
- Karr, Steven M., 2000. "Water We Believed Could Never Belong to Anyone: the San Luis Rey River and the Pala Indians of Southern California," American Indian Quarerly, 24(3): 381
- Tribal government home page
- Wireless Internet on the Pala Resservation
- Howser, Huell (December 8, 2000). "California Missions (108)". California Missions. Chapman University Huell Howser Archive.
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