Pala Band of Mission Indians

Background

The Pala Reservation is located in southern California. It was established by the Executive Order of December 27, 1875. Executive Orders of May 3, 1877, and July 24, 1882, restored portions of it to public domain. A Congressional Act of May 27, 1902, appropriated $100,000 for the purchase of land for California Mission Indians. An Act of March 31, 1903, permitted the use of part of this money for removing the Indians to the purchased land. The Executive Order of December 20, 1973, returned the Mission Reserve, formerly controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, to the Pala Band of Mission Indians. The rancheria encompasses over 12,000 acres, including 4,000 acres of forests, 6 acres of wetlands, 8 acres of lake, and over 38 miles of streams. The San Luis Rey River courses through the center of the reservation.

Members of the Pala Band belong to the Kuupangaxwichem, or Cupeño, and Luiseño tribes. The Pala Reservation represents one of the communities of Indians who were forced together by Spanish Franciscan missionaries during the 1800s. Although descendants of the Cupeño people form the majority, there has been a large degree of cultural integration between the groups.

The general council, composed of all adult members 18 years and older, governs the Pala Reservation. The council meets monthly, or the executive committee may call a special meeting. Executive committee members include a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, a secretary, and a treasurer. Members of the executive committee serve two-year terms. Tribal members must be at least 21 years old to run for office. The tribe is organized under Articles of Association approved in July 1961. These articles were amended in 1973 and 1980.

Council Members

Name Position
Robert Smith Chairman

Tribal Links

Tribal Government

Name Phone Fax Location
Pala Administration (760) 591-0926 (760) 742-1293 12196 Pala Mission Road
Pala, CA 92059

Community Resources

Name Phone Fax Location
Pala Youth Center (760) 742-2281 (760) 742-1178 2001 Pala Mission Road
Pala, CA 92059

Culture

Name Phone Fax Location
Cupa Cultural Center (760) 891-3590 (760) 742-4543 Pala Temecula Road
Pala, CA 92059

Education

Name Phone Fax Location
Pala Learning Center and Library (760) 742-1997 (760) 742-1178 2003 Pala Mission Circle
Pala, CA 92059
Little Feathers Preschool (760) 742-1997 (760) 742-1178 2003 Pala Mission Circle
Pala, CA 92059
Pala Child Care (760) 742-4619 (760) 742-0677 Pala Temecula Road
Pala, CA 92059

Citation
Much of the information about the member tribes is taken partly or in some cases entirely from the landmark guide compiled by Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, Jicarilla Apache and historian: Tiller, Veronica. Tiller's Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations. Bowarrow Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 1-885931-01-8

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