Tribal Beat

Exploring the lives of East County's Tribal Community

PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS ADVOCATES FOR MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

East County News Service

May 6, 2022 (Pala) -- Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, joined other tribal leaders on Thursday, May 5th at the California State Assembly to support May 2022 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Awareness Month


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IIPAY NATION PRESENTS ‘SOARING SPIRITS’ KITE FESTIVAL APRIL 23

East County News Service

Photo:  CC by NC

April 21, 2022 (Santa Ysabel) - April is National Kite Flying Month and the Iipay Nation presents the Soaring Spirits Kite Festival this Saturday, April 23.


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SAN DIEGO AMERICAN INDIAN HEALTH CENTER TO HOST 2022 POW WOW MAY 14 & 15

East County News Service

April 8, 2022 (San Diego) - San Diego American Indian Health Center’s Pow Wow is a celebration and showcase of Native American culture and traditions.  Native singers, drummers, and dancers in their beautiful regalia from throughout the Southwest will gather in Balboa Park at the corner of Park Blvd. and President’s Way to practice their traditions. You’re invited to come and celebrate us on May 14-15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION REFINANCE ATTRACTS MULTIPLE LENDERS

Tribe to benefit from low interest rate

Source:  Jamul Indian Village

Photo:  the Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation (JIVDC), owner and operator of Jamul Casino, recently closed on a refinance with a syndicate of commercial banks.  JIVDC was able to retire all of its high-interest pre-development debt and consolidate its financing in a single low-interest loan.

March 4, 2022 (Jamul) - On February 10, 2022, the Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation (JIVDC), owner and operator of Jamul Casino®, closed on a refinance with a syndicate of commercial banks led by Western Alliance Bank.  The other lenders were U.S. Bank, Nevada State Bank, KeyBank, First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. and Columbia State Bank.  JIVDC was able to retire all of its high interest pre-development debt and consolidate its financing in a single low interest loan.  With this refinance, the JIVDC was able to pay off the entirety of its high interest rate loan with funds from the refinance and significantly reduce the interest rate on its debt, dramatically improving the financial future of the Jamul Indian Village.


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KUPA PALA’S REZ RADIO CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY

By John Fox, Station Manager, Rez Radio 91.3 KPRI

February 6, 2022 (Pala) -- Happy Anniversary to Rez Radio 91.3!  Eleven years ago we received our license from the FCC.  Since then, Rez Radio has never unintentionally gone off the air and has always stood ready to convey important official information in any emergency.  We developed news and other local programming that has earned more than 20 San Diego Press Club awards for Excellence in Journalism as well as recognition from the Southern California News Association for Best Small Station Newscast.  That includes stations in LA, San Diego, the Inland Empire, upper and lower deserts, and the Central Valley all the way to Fresno.   Rez Radio news is the ONLY locally-based broadcast news outlet anywhere between San Diego, LA and Riverside. 


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OAK RIDGE BOYS TO PERFORM DUO CONCERTS AT SYCUAN FEBRUARY 20

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Oak Ridge Boys in 2013, CC by Gage Skidmore

February 2, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – The Oak Ridge Boys, country music stars with gospel music roots, will perform two concerts at Sycuan Casino’s Live & Up Front Casino on February 20 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.


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TUBERCULOSIS CASE REPORTED AT SYCUAN CASINO; EXPOSURE POSSIBLE FROM APRIL 1 TO DECEMBER 9, 2021

COVID safety precautions minimized potential for TB spread

East County News Service

January 3, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Tuberculosis has been diagnosed in a person at Sycuan Casino who may have exposed customers and employees, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today.


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PASSAGES: DIANA PICO, NURSE AND NATIVE AMERICAN HEALER

By Karen Pearlman

December 31, 2021 (Alpine) -- Trained as a nurse, Diana Pico was a healer, teacher and strong believer in spirituality.

The wife of former Viejas Tribal Chairman Anthony Pico, Diana Pico started her career in the medical field and was an oncology nurse, but she later moved into a more comfortable place to help others through alternative and native healing practices.

Pico was a survivor who beat breast cancer and liver cancer, but she died on June 3, of complications from brain cancer. Pico was 65.


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GRANT RECIPIENT TO SPEAK ON INDIGENOUS TRADITIONS AT AAUW MEETING IN LA MESA JAN. 8

East County News Service

December 31, 2021 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of the American Association of University Women will open the new year with featured speaker Jessica Gutierrez Masini, a 2021 Fund grant recipient. Jessica will be speaking to the branch via zoom on January 8th  beginning at 10:00 a.m. about Indigenous peoples of San Bernardino County.


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SDSU NAMES SYCUAN AS INAUGURAL FOUNDING PARTNER OF NEW AZTEC STADIUM

Two key features of new facility will bear the Sycuan name.

By SDSU News Team

December 2, 2021 (San Diego) – The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Sycuan Casino Resort will be San Diego State University’s inaugural Founding Partner for the new Aztec Stadium at SDSU Mission Valley, the university has announced.


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WORKER KILLED AT PAUMA ZIP LINE IDENTIFIED

East County News Service

November 27, 2021 (Pauma Valley) – The San Diego County Medical Examiner has identified Joaquin Romero, 34, of Banning, California as the worker who died on November 1st after a fall a day earlier in Pauma Valley at the La Jolla Zip Zoom line operated by the La Jolla Indian tribe. 


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NATIVE AMERICANS INCLUDING KUMEYAAY, SAN DIEGO ACTIVISTS AND SUPPORTERS FROM FOUR STATES STAND WITH HUALAPAI NATION IN OPPOSING PROPOSED LITHIUM MINE

By Henri Migala

November 18, 2021 (Wikieup, Ariz.) -- Few, if any, narratives in America are older, or more repeated, than the story of Native peoples struggling to protect their lands, resources, lifeways and even their culture, from exploitation, abuse and destruction. That very story is yet again unfolding with the Hualapai Nation in northern Arizona, where people are in a struggle to protect their ancestral lands from lithium mining. It’s a struggle that pits the long-term energy interests and demands of the United States against the cultural values of the Hualapai people, the health of the land and its inhabitants, and has nothing less at stake than the very survival of the entire Hualapai nation.


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JAMUL CASINO DONATES $10,000 TOWARDS DEPORTED VETERANS’ CAUSE AND HONORS COMMUNITY MEMBERS


By Elijah McKee

 

Photos by Elijah McKee and courtesy of Jamul Casino

 

Hear an audio version of this report which aired on the East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ, including excerpts of speakers, by clicking the audio link.

 

November 10, 2021 (Jamul) - “We always say ‘Everyone comes home.’ The reality is, hundreds came home, and then we deported them,” said Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors, as he addressed the crowd at Jamul Casino’s annual Veterans Day Celebration. 

 

Jamul Casino and the Jamul Indian Village tribe of the Kumeyaay Nation hosted the lunch event at its Rooftop venue to honor veterans in their community — both employees and tribal members — as well as to donate to a veterans’ organization. 

 

This year, the organization selected was Unified United States Deported Veterans (UUSDV), a chapter of Veterans for Peace. The $10,000 donation from Jamul Casino was awarded by Mary Cheeks, President and General Manager, and handed to Jan Ruhman, a project coordinator with UUSDV for the border region. 

Audio: 


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BILL TO PROTECT PALA INDIANS’ SACRED SITE PASSES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

East County News Service

November 2, 2021 (Pala) -- Bipartisan legislation to facilitate the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ work to protect a sacred San Diego County site passed in the House of Representatives today.  H.R. 1975 – The Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act of 2021 – was authored by Congressman Darrel Issa (CA-50)  and cosponsored by Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51). 

The legislation will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to transfer approximately 720 acres of land – which includes a sacred site known locally as Gregory Mountain or Chokla– that was acquired by the Pala into trust for the benefit of the tribe and its members.

The action ends a two-decade battle by the tribe to prevent the Gregory Canyon Landfill.  In 2016, the land was purchased by the Pala Band of Mission Indians to prevent construction of a landfill on the mountain, a site of tremendous cultural significance to Pala tribal members. 


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PALA CASINO SPA RESORT TO HOST “MEET, EAT, AND GREET” CULINARY CAREER FAIR NOV. 2

East County News Service

October 26, 2021 (Pala) -- Pala Casino Spa Resort will host its next “Meet, Eat, and Greet” Culinary Career Fair  on November 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to promote employment opportunities with the Food & Beverage team. The culinary career fair will feature a unique mixer-style atmosphere with music, food, and more.

The event will include the opportunity to get to know the Food & Beverage management team and on-the-spot interviews.

Job opportunities include:


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FORMER MANZANITA TRIBAL POLICE CHIEF ADMITS TO STEALING OVER $300,000 FROM LOCAL TRIBE BY SELLING FAKE BADGES

“This brazen scheme not only deprived the Manzanita Band of funding, but also caused numerous untrained ‘officers’ to believe they were authorized to carry concealed weapons on and off the reservation and enforce laws with little to no training.” – FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner

East County News Service

October 25, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Anthony Reyes Vazquez pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting that he stole more than $300,000 from the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation while serving as chief of the Manzanita Tribal Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced.


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LOCAL TRIBAL MEMBERS JOIN STAND AGAINST LITHIUM MINING IN ARIZONA AND SALTON SEA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: September 30 protest at Barona reservation in Lakeside

October 19, 2021 (Lakeside) –  Members of the Barona band of Mission Indians and other tribal nations have joined a fight aiming to stop the proposed Sandy Valley lithium mine in Arizona and proposed lithium mining at the Salton Sea in California that could adversely impact Native Americans.

Local activist Bobby Wallace led a local contingency of tribal members who traveled in late September to Arizona, where the Hualapai people are battling to stop the federal Bureau of Land Management from issuing permits for lithium mining that could threaten tribal water supplies.

Participants included tribal leaders and/or tribal council members from the Hualapai Nation and the Peach Springs tribe, as well as tribal youths and members of the Yavapai Apache People, Mohawk/Oneida tribe, Pueblo, Navajo, Zuni, and San Diego County tribal members from the Kumeyaay and Luiseno, as well as representatives of other activist groups.

Lithium is prized for use in cell phones, computers, batteries and other technology devices -- but at a high environmental price for those impacted by hard-rock and open-pit mining used to extract it.  Now tribal members are urging the federal government to prioritize metal and rare earth mineral recycling over issuance of new mining permits. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that metal mining accounts for 41 percent of toxic substances released and hard rock mines may have already contaminated 40% of watersheds in the West, the Arizona Republic reported on October 2.


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NEWEST RAMONA H.E.A.R.T. MURAL HONORS AREA’S KUMEYAAY HERITAGE

East County News Service

October 7, 2021 (Ramona) – A dedication ceremony was held last Saturday for Ramona’s newest mural, which pays tribute to the Kumeyaay Native Americans. The mural is located at the back of the Verizon Building at 1530 Main Street, Ramona. It is the 27th mural created by the non-profit Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project. 

Artist Simon Melnyk created the mural with a goal “celebrate Kumeyaay culture in its untouched state by venturing into their world before European contact.” He constructed the mural on 26 individual panels which he then put together to form the complete 1200 square foot mural.


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FEDERAL PANDEMIC PROGRAM GIVES DISCOUNTS ON INTERNET AND LAPTOPS FOR SENIORS: EXTRA BENEFITS FOR TRIBAL MEMBERS

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

September 12, 2021 (Sacramento) --  Advocates for older Americans are working to spread the word about a federal program to cut people's internet bills.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program gives people who qualify a $50 credit on their monthly internet bill and a $100 voucher toward a laptop or other mobile device.

Joe Garbanzos, state president for AARP California, said for tribal communities the program goes further, providing a $75 subsidy per month.


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SYCUAN POWWOW SEPT. 10-12 SHOWCASES NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITIONS

East County News Service

September 10, 2021 (El Cajon) – The annual Sycuan Pow-Wow returns September 10-12. The event will take place at the pow-wow grounds next to the Sycuan Casino and will feature Native American dance competitions, Kumeyaay bird singing, peon games, and more.  


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SYCUAN PRESENTS “LADIES NIGHT OUT” SEPT. 17 WITH SHEENA EASTON AND TIFFANY

East County News Service

September 8, 2021 (El Cajon) – Two legendary pop stars, Sheena Easton and Tiffany, will perform September 17 at 8 p.m. at Sycuan Casino in El Cajon during a special “Ladies Night Out” evening.


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KUMEYAAY ACTIVISTS TO LEAD SEPT. 25-28 WALK TO PROTEST LITHIUM MINING ON HUALAPAI SACRED SPRINGS IN ARIZONA

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2021 (Lakeside) – Kumeyaay activists, including Barona tribal member Bobby Wallace, are organizing a walk in Arizona Sept. 25-28 to protest an Australian mining corporation’s plan to extract lithium that threatens the Hualapai Nation’s water and ancestral sites.


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BARONA POWWOW RETURNS SEPT. 4-5

By Miriam Raftery

September 4, 2021 (Lakeside) – Since 1932, the Barona Powwow has been an event for Native American tribal members to gather.  The pandemic cancelled last year’s event, but this weekend the powwow returns with the theme “Back to our roots.”

On September 4 and 5, events include gourd dancing from 2-5 p.m. supper from 5-7 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., a parade and social dancing. Activities take place at the Barona Sports Complex on the Barona Indian Reservation in Lakeside.


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FIREFIGHTERS SAVE MA TAR AWA RV PARK - AIR & GROUND RESOURCES FIGHTING BAMBI FIRE IN ALPINE

5:20 p.m.: Firefighters have stopped the forward rate of spread at 8 acres. Ground crews will continue to mop up and put out any spot fires.

8:45 p.m.: No news is good news.

By Jonathan Goetz

August 11, 2021 -- The #BambiFire in Alpine, north of I-8 on Viejas tribal lands and within the Cleveland National Forest has burned approximately 7-11 acres.

The Incident Commander was overheard calling for help to save Ma Tar Awa RV Park, according to SD County Fire Scanner. NBC San Diego showed dramatic live video from a helicopter of the fire stopped just yards from structures in the park.

The last word was moderate rate of spread, but it is unclear if some resources were cancelled en route, which may mean firefighters think they have a good handle on the situation.


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FEDERAL JUDGE DISMISSES SUIT CHALLENGING APPROVAL OF CAMPO WIND PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

“We have really nothing to give our youth, nothing to pass down. All we have are false promises. These windmills are supposed to bring us some glimmer of hope, but all they’ve brought us are despair.” –Tribal elder Denis Largo

August 7, 2021 (Campo) – U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Backcountry Against Dumps, a local citizens’ group, against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior. The lawsuit sought to challenge the agencies’ approval of Terra Gen’s Campo Wind project on the Campo Indian reservation.


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ROAD FIRE CLOSES WB I-8, PROMPTS EVACUATIONS IN PORTIONS OF DESCANSO & VIEJAS RESERVATION

Update: 7 p.m.: Caltrans San Diego reports all lanes re-opened to traffic 
 
#RoadFire removed from CHP Incidents page
 
No official public updates found on acres burned or % contained since 3:30 p.m.
 
Update: 3:30 p.m.: Initial Attack was successful according to retired fire captain Scott Culkin. Out of town air resources released.
 
Thank you: United States Forest Service (U.S.F.S.), Calfire/S.D. County, Alpine, Viejas, and others. Firefighters will be present throughout the night to contain the fire and put out any hotspots.
 
"Forward spread has stopped," according to Cleveland National Forest, lead agency on the #RoadFire, yet also reporting only 5% contained, as of 3:30 p.m.
 
Update 1:50 p.m.: Per Cleveland National Forest on Twitter, the #RoadFire is now 70 acres and holding, with a moderate rate of spread. The Humane Society urges pet owners to take pets with you if you evacuate, since you may not be able to return to provide food and water during the fire and intense heat.
 
By Jonathan Goetz
 
Photos: #RoadFire by James Cecil (Pic 1: Mountain, Pic 2: SDG&E Helicopter)
 
July 10, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – All lanes westbound on Interstate 8 west of State Route 79 are closed due to a brush fire, reports Caltrans San Diego.

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HARRAH’S RESORT SOCAL AT RINCON CELEBRATES PRIDE WEEKEND JULY 17-18

East County News Service

 

July 3, 2021 (San Diego) -- As a longtime supporting sponsor of San Diego PRIDand in celebration of pride, equality, and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communitiesHarrah’s Resort SoCal today announced a bevy of beautiful PRIDE experiences, offerings and specials to celebrate PRIDE in style.  From the hotel towers lit up in rainbow colors in support of San Diego Pride weekend July 17 and 18 to Resort decor including a rainbow ribbon chandelier and a proud alpaca, colorful photo ops and celebration abound.


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PALA CASINO SPA RESORT COMMENDS LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING MESA FIRE, PROVIDED ACCOMMODATIONS AND SUPPORT TO FIRE AGENCIES

Source: Pala Casino Spa Resort

June 28, 2021 (Pala) -- Pala Casino Spa Resort commends the local agencies battling the Mesa Fire that broke out along State Route 76 near Pala Casino this week. Pala Casino has worked closely with Riverside County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Scoville and CAL FIRE Captain Wes Handy to provide support for the agencies.


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JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE ANNOUNCES TRIBAL COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS

Source:  Jamul Indian Village

June 25, 2021 (Jamul) - The Jamul Indian Village announced the results of their 2021 Tribal Council elections that were recently concluded.

Chairwoman Erica M. Pinto was re-elected to another four-year term, as were Councilmembers Teresa Cousins and James Cuero III.


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FEDERAL INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOL INITIATIVE ANNOUNCED BY INTERIOR SECRETARY HAALAND

Outlines Path Forward on Troubled Legacy of Federal Boarding School Policies in Remarks to National Congress of American Indians

East County News Service

June 22, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- In remarks to the National Congress of American Indians 2021 Mid Year Conference today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.

Today’s announcement is accompanied by a secretarial memo in which Secretary Haaland directs the Department to prepare a report detailing available historical records, with an emphasis on cemeteries or potential burial sites, relating to the federal boarding school program in preparation for a future site work. This work will occur under the supervision of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.


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