Pala Indian Reservation

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Coordinates: 33°21′34″N 117°02′49″W / 33.35944°N 117.04694°W / 33.35944; -117.04694

Pala Reservation. Reinforcement of first joint of caisson - NARA - 298614.jpg

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.[clarification needed]

Historic variant names used to describe the area include Mission Indian Reservation and Mission Indian Reserve.

Its members, the federally recognized tribe of the Pala Band of Luiseño Mission Indians, are descended from both Luiseño and Cupeño peoples, who have shared territory since 1901. A total of five other federally recognized tribes of Luiseño are located in southern California.

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.

Pala Band of Mission Indians at Pala
Total population
(1,573 reservation population (2000 US Census))
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( California)
Languages
English, Luiseño, Cupeño
Related ethnic groups
other Cupeño people, Luiseño people[1]

Politics[edit]

The Pala Band of Mission Indians is governed by a six-member Executive Committee. Committee members elected by the General Counsel, who is composed of voters of 18 and up. Every two years in November an election is held. The tribal committee is made up of a tribal chairman, vice chairman, secretary, treasurer, and two council members. The tribe follows a constitution created in 1994, which was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1997.[2]

Reservation[edit]

The reservation occupies parts of four 7.5 minute topographic maps: Boucher Hill, Pala, Pechanga, and Vail Lake, California. The area consists of an 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, who were historically one of the smallest tribes in California. Their name for themselves was Kuupangaxwichem.The reservation also hosts a radio station, Pala Rez Radio 91.3 FM.

History / Culture[edit]

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.

The tribe federally recognized. 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." The Cupeño were removed to a tract of land in the Pala Valley adjacent to the Pala Luiseño reservation that already existed there in May 1903. That tract of land was purchased pursuant to the express direction of Congress for "such Mission Indians heretofore residing or belonging to the Rancho San Jose del Valle, or Warners Ranch, in San Diego County, California, and such other Mission Indians as may not be provided with suitable lands elsewhere, as the Secretary of the Interior may see fit to locate thereon."[3] The tract of land had no form of infrastructure, so the Cupeño had to sleep in the open fields. In addition, their Chinigchinich religious ties to their previous land holdings were denied to them, which hindered their spirituality. They have not been able to regain their previous homeland, Kupa.[4]

Gaming and economic development[edit]

Traditionally a modest and sometimes poor tribe, since the late 20th century, the Pala Band has developed a large, successful casino and resort hotel: Pala Casino Resort and Spa. The tribe uses proceeds from the gaming and hospitality enterprises to fund social services and education for members, and infrastructure improvements to the reservation. The Pala branch also cultivates an avocado grove on the southern part of the reservation. Avocados are planted on 90 acres of land, which are then packed and sold. The grove provides jobs to over 40 individuals.[5]

Outcomes of the Gaming Profits

  • $1.5 million home loan program
  • $300,000 scholarship fund for higher education
  • Additional land for the Tribal cemetery
  • Firefighter and paramedic service
  • 24-hour on-site ambulance[6]

Environmental Department[edit]

The department monitors the pollution and cleanliness of the air, water, and land specific to the Pala reservation. The U.S. provided the reservation with a grant in 1999 that enabled the tribe to observe the pollution levels of the environment. The grant contributes to the technology for the department, personnel training, and other necessities needed to manage the department. Some of the tasks that the department fulfills are commuting the Air Quality Index for the region, which describes the pollutants in the air, along with solutions and methods to combat the issue. Another aspect that the department addresses is to ensure that the water meets the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards in addition to the conservation of water in the reservation. In addition to environment conservation, they also work to preserve and maintain historical and cultural sites.[7]

Other Luiseño bands[edit]

Another major federally recognized tribe of related people, the Pauma Band of Luiseno Mission Indians resides to the southeast in the area traversed by State Route 76. A total of five other federally recognized tribes of Luiseño are located in southern California.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pritzker 131
  2. ^ "Tribal Council — Pala Band of Mission Indians". www.palatribe.com. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  3. ^ 32 Stat. 257 (1902)
  4. ^ "History and Culture — Pala Band of Mission Indians". www.palatribe.com. Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  5. ^ "Economy — Pala Band of Mission Indians". www.palatribe.com. Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  6. ^ "Tribal Council — Pala Band of Mission Indians". www.palatribe.com. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  7. ^ "Culture – Pala Environmental Department". ped.palatribe.com. Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  • 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

External links[edit]