Boarding School Era – The late 1800s and early 1900s were plagued by the federal government’s implementation of assimilation policies for native people. Pauma children, like other Indian children across the country, were forced to attend off reservation boarding schools. Many of Pauma’s children, and children from neighboring Luiseño bands, attended the Sherman Indian School in Riverside, CA.
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While the boarding school experience provided some educational opportunities, it coincided with negative effects on tribal cultures and familial systems. Numerous incidences of abuse occurred during this time. The impacts of the federal boarding school system left deep scars in many Indian families, scars that many of our community members are still recovering from today.

Educating Our Children Today

During the early 1970s the tribal council created a special committee on education. Both youth and adults were appointed to this committee. The purpose of the committee was to work with local schools and the Sherman institute to improve the quality of educational services for native children. The committee also worked to investigate the social and academic treatment of native youth attending these institutions.

Additionally, the committee worked with college students to acquire book grants to cover some of the educational expenses. As tribal economic resources increased the committee was able to meet more tuition and fee expense needs with the administration of book grants to Pauma students.Pauma incorporated its Johnson-O’Malley (JOM) program (a federal education grant) with its after school program to provide cultural enrichment, remedial work for students if needed, and accelerated reading and math for students who wanted it. The recently started youth program has a component for academics and focuses on social issues for the youth. Read More

Higher Education

The Pauma Center (formally American Indian Education Center, AIEC) is a Palomar College satellite program operating on the Pauma Indian Reservation. It is a partnership between the Pauma tribe, the American Indian Studies Department and Palomar College’s Extension Center. The center houses a classroom, office and computer lab while offering a wide variety of college courses.It meets the needs of the surrounding community by offering students the opportunity to take college courses without traveling to the main Palomar campus.

Other student services such as EOPS, counseling, academic counseling, and financial aid information are available at the center. The new computer lab is used for online courses computer training and internet research.Also located nearby on the reservation is the Pauma Library.