Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation

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Sycuan Band
of the Kumeyaay Nation
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( California)
Tipai,[2] English
Traditional tribal religion,
Christianity (Roman Catholicism)[3]
Related ethnic groups
other Kumeyaay tribes, Cocopa,
Quechan, Paipai, and Kiliwa

The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation is a federally recognized tribe of Mission Indians from Southern California, located in an unincorporated area of San Diego County just east of El Cajon. The Sycuan band are a Kumeyaay tribe, one of the four ethnic groups indigenous to San Diego County.

Reservation and administration[edit]

The Sycuan Reservation is located at 32°46′57″N 116°49′59″W / 32.78250°N 116.83306°W / 32.78250; -116.83306. The nearest outside communities are the unincorporated communities of Harbison Canyon and Crest.

Cody Martinez is their current tribal chairman.[4]

The band operates two waste water treatment plants, a sequencing batch reactor used for their casino, administrative buildings, and maintenance buildings. They also operate and own a modular treatment plant in a flood plain near one of their residential areas. The tribe operates a water treatment facility which controls their nitrate levels. Additionally, the tribe operates a small medical clinic, dental office, fire department and tribal police force. In 2005, they eliminated their environmental department for political and economic reasons. In 2004, they installed a new air conditioning system, internal control systems, and a new parking lot.[citation needed]

Economic development[edit]

The move toward casino gaming on the Sycuan Band reservation was spearheaded by the Sycuan Band's former chairwoman, Anna Prieto Sandoval.[5] The Sycuan Band opened its first gambling facility, the Sycuan Bingo Palace, on their reservation in 1983.[6] As a direct evolution from that successful venture, they now run a profitable casino, as well as an off-reservation golf course. The Sycuan band is not the only San Diego-area band to operate significant commercial enterprises off-reservation.

The Sycuan band purchased the downtown San Diego landmark U. S. Grant Hotel in 2003.[7] It also advertises heavily in relation to the San Diego Padres major-league baseball team (including both television and radio commercials during game broadcasts, and posted advertising at Petco Park, the team's home field).

Hotel casino resort expansion[edit]

Notice board displayed by Sycuan Casino

A $226 million hotel casino expansion opened to the public on March 27, 2019. The casino has a total of 2800 slot machines and 80 gaming tables (blackjack, poker, etc).[8][9]

Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming[edit]

The Sycuan band also provides an endowment to support the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming, a research institute at San Diego State University.


The Kumeyaay Community College was created by the Sycuan Band to serve the Kumeyaay-Diegueño Nation, and describes its mission as "to support cultural identity, sovereignty, and self-determination while meeting the needs of native and non-Native students."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "California Indians and Their Reservations: S. SDSU Library and Information Access. (retrieved 11 June 2010)
  2. ^ Eargle, 202
  3. ^ Pritzker, 147
  4. ^ "Tribal Governments by Area." Archived 2010-05-05 at the Wayback Machine National Congress of American Indians. (retrieved 11 June 2010)
  5. ^ Gonzalez, Blanca (2010-11-01). "Sycuan tribal elder Sandoval dies at 76, The tribal leader was instrumental in bringing gaming to reservation". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  6. ^ Woo, Elaine (2010-11-07). "Anna Prieto Sandoval, 76; Sycuan leader was a pioneer in Indian gaming". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Sycuan Hotel and Resort".
  9. ^ "Sycuan Casino Expansion Includes Vegas-Backed Steakhouse and Cocktail Lounge".


  • Eargle, Jr., Dolan H. Northern California Guide: Weaving the Past and Present. San Francisco: Tree Company Press, 2000. ISBN 0-937401-10-2.
  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.

External links[edit]