Pauma News

SAN MARCOS: Video games to help teach native language

By DEBORAH SULLIVAN BRENNAN, North County Times | March 10, 2011

Hand-held video games may help Luiseno tribal members restore their traditional language, as tribal members and local professors devise a novel approach to teach the ancient language on Nintendo devices.

The Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians has provided a $50,000 grant to Cal State San Marcos’ California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, and Palomar College’s American Indian Studies Department, to create Luiseno language cartridges for the video games.

The cartridges will be distributed to members of the tribe’s seven bands in Riverside and San Diego counties.

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SAN MARCOS: American Indian language project gets funding

North County Times | Saturday, February 26, 2011

SAN MARCOS —- The Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians awarded $40,000 to the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at Cal State San Marcos, in support of a project to preserve the Luiseno language. The Luiseno Language Preservation Project creates technology-based language learning devices that will preserve and teach the Luiseno language to tribal members. A collective $50,000 grant will be shared between CSUSM and Palomar College’s American Indian Studies Department, with the center at CSUSM leading the project. Palomar College collaborators will host instructional workshops for Pauma tribal members on the use of the language technology and devices.

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Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians Awards Gift to CSUSM’s California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center

CSUSM | Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Focused on revitalizing its indigenous language, the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians awarded $40,000 to the California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) to create technology-based language learning devices that will preserve and teach the Luiseño language to tribal members.

“We are passionate about this project and its potential for finding a practical way to help preserve the Luiseño language for future generations – not just for our tribe but for all Luiseño tribes,” said Patricia Dixon, Education Committee Chair of the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians.

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Pauma Tribe Mention — Tierra Miguel Foundation: Growing Food and Farmers

California Food and Justice Coalition

Perhaps it should come as no surprise to find that the activities, ownership structure, and languages spoken on the 85-acre biodynamic Tierra Miguel Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in the Pauma Valley north of San Diego are varied and multi-faceted.  Biodynamic agriculture honors and builds upon the interrelationships of soil, flora, and macro and micro fauna.  Whether in conscious imitation of its agricultural tenets or not, Tierra Miguel cultivates and celebrates a web of programs and community connections.

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Featuring Juana Majel-Dixon — UN Special Rapporteur Investigates Epidemic of Violence Against Native Women in the United States

Clan Star | Sunday, January 30, 2011

CHEROKEE, N.C. — At 64 years-old, Matilda Black Bear, better known as Tillie, refers to herself as a “classic case” in regards to her story of domestic violence.  She was 26 years old when she entered into a relationship that turned violent. She knew after the first week that she had to get out, but it took her three years to leave.

“In the ’70s there were no services for victims, let alone any laws to hold perpetrators accountable,” recalls Tillie. “I went to the police and to the judges and they didn’t know what to do with me.”

According to U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, not much has changed in nearly 40 years. Tillie’s story is shared by thousands of Native women in the United States. One out of three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and three out of four will be physically assaulted.

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PAUMA VALLEY: Tribe Elects New Chairman, Council Member

North County Times | Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PAUMA VALLEY — Members of the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians in Pauma Valley have elected a new chairman and tribal council member, and re-elected two other officials, the tribe announced Wednesday.

In an election on Dec. 5, the tribe elected Randall Majel as its new chairman, succeeding former Chairman Chris Devers, according to a news release issued by the tribe. Robert Quisquis was elected as a tribal council member at large.

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American Indians Set National Agenda
NPR | Friday, November 18, 2010

The National Congress of American Indians is convening its annual conference to set the agenda for the coming year and ahead of a Tribal Nation Summit at the White House next month. Host Michel Martin speaks with National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel and Juana Majel Dixon, the group’s first vice president.

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MILITARY: Outsized Symbol of Patriotism

North County Times | Friday, November 19, 2010

SAN DIEGO — Workers from Casino Pauma hang a 25-by-55-foot American flag last week from the casino’s main sign in Pauma Valley. The flag was supplied by Albert Kapitanski, who worked with tribal and casino officials to arrange the display of the flag from Wednesday to Monday to mark Veterans Day.

“It was the only place big enough to hang it,” Kapitanski said. Kapitanski is the son of Alex Kapitanski, the well-known Oceanside “Flag Man” who, before his death in February, supplied American flags for more than 30,000 ceremonies, memorials and other events in and around the North County area.

Pauma Tribe to Receive Federal Grant Toward Crime Prevention

Sacramento Bee | Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SAN DIEGO — The Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians will receive a $338,050 grant from the Department of Justice toward prevention of alcohol and substance-abuse related crimes.

Announced in September, 2010, the grant — part of $127 million given to tribes nationwide to improve public safety and criminal justice — was awarded through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Tribal Resource Grant Program. COPS is a DOJ office that advances the practice of community policing in U.S. state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.

“This process has been an important and efficient step toward improving the safety of our community, and building and maintaining an effective and nation-to-nation relationship,” said Pauma Tribal Chairman Chris Devers. The Pauma Tribe plans to use the money toward improving community policing by hiring and training new officers, and purchasing new equipment and vehicles, with the goal to target and reduce alcohol and substance abuse-related incidents.

North County Tribal Fire Departments Ready to Help, Leaders Say

By EDWARD SIFUENTES, North County Times | Thursday, October 7, 2010 

As the wildfire season kicks into full swing, four North County tribes have begun airing a TV ad telling the public that their fire departments are ready to help in case of an emergency.

The Pauma, Pala, Rincon and San Pasqual reservation were all affected by the devastating 2003 and 2007 wildfires. San Pasqual and Rincon in Valley Center were hit especially hard; dozens of homes were lost in the Paradise and Poomacha fires. 

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Judges Rule That Schwarzenegger Strongarmed Gaming Tribe

By PETER HECHT, Sacramento Bee | Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The court ruled that the demand constituted an improper attempt by the state “to impose a tax” in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The opinion, and other recent legal rulings, have significantly chipped away at California’s negotiating power with its casino tribes.

“This is the first time that a finding of ‘bad faith’ has ever been made by the court,” said Nikki Symington, a spokeswoman for the Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians from San Diego County. “That means the state is not playing fair and the tribes have no recourse. And this is the first time the fees charged by the state have been called an illegal tax.”

Schwarzenegger spokesman Jeff Macedo said the Governor’s Office intends to appeal the matter to the full 9th Circuit court.

“We believe that we negotiated in good faith,” Macedo said. “We believe this is the federal courts telling the states again what they can and can’t do by reducing our ability to negotiate.”

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Reprieve for Pauma Tribe on State Compact

Judge: Pauma doesn’t have to pay, for now

By ONELL R. SOTO, Staff Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune
Sign on San Diego | Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego federal judge has given North County’s Pauma Indian band a reprieve from multimillion-dollar payments to the state under a 2004 gambling deal.

Judge Larry Burns said the state compact was entered into mistakenly and ruled the tribe doesn’t have to pay under its terms until he makes a final ruling on the deal. Burns said he’s leaning toward undoing the compact and gave lawyers for the state time to come up with arguments to change his mind.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said through a spokesman that his legal team is reviewing its options.

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Local Tribal Leaders Attend White House Conference

Valley Roadrunner | Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Photo: Pauma Chairman Chris Devers, left, accompanies several tribal members at the Tribal Nations Conference.

WASHINGTON — Local tribal leaders attended President Obama’s White House Tribal Nations Conference last week.

They included Pauma Tribal Chairman Chris Devers, San Pasqual Chairman Allen Lawson and Rincon council members Steve Stallings and Gilbert Parada. ?Chairman Devers, accompanied by several tribal members, was one of only a handful of tribal leaders that was able to speak last week.

Tribal representatives attended the meetings, as well as the opening of the American Indian Embassy in D.C., which symbolizes and recognizes the tribes as sovereign nations, but also accommodates the constant interaction tribes must have with congress on bills to ensure they aren’t left out or are written in in ways that they feel are harmful.

On Thursday, President Obama spoke to the conference, which provided leaders from the 564 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration.

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Obama Launches Yearly American Indian Summits
UpNorthLive.com  | Thursday November 05, 2009
Councilwoman Juana Majel-Nixon of the Pauma Band of Mission Indians, right, wears a decorative hair clip during a meeting between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is making good on a campaign promise to have a yearly summit with American Indians to hear their concerns.

Obama is to deliver opening and closing remarks Thursday for the meeting of members of his Cabinet and tribal leaders, the first such event since 1994. Officials planned to discuss problems facing American Indians, including economic development, education, health care, public safety and housing.

“This is an opportunity for tribal leaders to interact directly with the president, and we all know working in this area that there are so many difficult and monumental issues which face Indian nations throughout our country. And frankly, the last administration did not pay any attention to these issues,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

During the Democratic primary, Obama traveled to Indian reservations and promised health care improvements.

“I’ll appoint an American Indian policy adviser to my senior White House staff to work with tribes and host an annual summit at the White House with tribal leaders to come up with an agenda that works for tribal communities,” Obama said in a video address to the National Congress of American Indians’ convention in Phoenix during the final days of last year’s campaign. “That’s how we’ll make sure you have a seat at the table when important decisions are being made about your lives, about your nations and about your people.”

He made good on that pledge, creating a new post within the White House. He appointed Kimberly Teehee to serve as senior policy adviser for Native American affairs within the Domestic Policy Council. Teehee, a member of the Cherokee Nation, previously served as an aide to Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Mich., and worked for the Democratic National Committee.

He also tapped Dr. Yevette Roubideaux to serve as director of the Indian Health Service within the Department of Health and Human Services, making her the first American Indian to head the federal agency since its founding in 1955. Roubideaux, a member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, worked for IHS on the San Carlos Indian Reservation and in the Gila River Indian community.

Thursday’s event is an opportunity for the administration to tout its $787 billion economic stimulus bill. Some $3 billion of the economic stimulus funding was directed to tribal communities and Obama has sought budget increases for Indian health care and programs run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, officials said. They hope to develop a list of steps the administration and tribes can take to improve the quality of life on reservations.

“We won’t be able to wave a magic wand and resolve all of the issues,” Salazar said, “but it is a great foundation for the work that lies ahead.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Original Article

Pauma Tribe Dedicates New Fire Station

Friday’s dedication of the new Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians tribal fire station 69 was also a remembrance of the eighth anniversary of 9/11, which is, more than any other day, associated with the heroism of firefighters—343 were killed in the attack of 2001. About 70 members of the community attended the dedication and the lunch that followed.

The dedication began with a flag ceremony that included both Old Glory and the Pauma tribal flag, accompanied by a Luiseño chant. Chairman Chris C. Devers performed the blessing of the station, which was accompanied by sage smoke, also used to purify the station.

 “We picked this day, 9/11, to remember that fateful day when our country was attacked and to remember the firefighters and responders who lost their lives that day,” he said, declaring that it was an especially appropriate day to open a fire station.

“We hope this significant addition of our facility will improve their resources and strengthen their impact within the community,” he said. Devers said that the goal of building the station goes back to 2007, and the decision was made shortly before the Poomacha wildfire of 2007 ravaged the valley.

He credited the Pauma tribal council with having the courage to authorize the station. At that time the Pauma tribal fire crew was a hand crew. The tribe decided that year to upgrade it to an “all risk” crew capable of handling all emergency calls and work with other similar agencies.

“When the valley was evacuated we had our hand crews deployed protecting lives and personal property,” said Devers. He noted that the tribe lost 4,000-5,000 acres of timberland that it owns during that fire. He called the new fire station, “a structure, but a lot more than a structure.” During the ceremony Pauma Firefighter Joey Latscha, one of the 14 firefighters, read the Firefighter’s Prayer, which includes these lines: “When I am called to duty, God, Whenever flames may rage, Give me strength to save some life, Whatever be its age.”

Fire Chief William Melendez introduced the 13 firefighters who will be working with him. “We share our house with our brothers and welcome you to our new fire station.” He added, “You don’t know what this day means to us. We are making history in Pauma Valley—we should be very proud.” Cal Fire Chief Jeff Johnson was also a guest speaker. “We have a strong working relationship with all of the departments in this area,” noting that Pauma has signed a mutual aid agreement with Cal Fire,” he said. “Our hope and desire is that we have a strong brotherhood and sisterhood in the fire services. We have seen a lot of changes and we are going to see more soon. Fire knows no boundaries. This new station will serve not only Pauma but the surrounding communities.”

Chief Melendez has spent the last year and a half training his crew from scratch to be ready for the station opening, which will actually be in service in about a week. He has spent his entire 27 year career in the fire services, including four years as division chief of the fire department that protected NASA’s facility in Simi Valley. That job had its special challenges since the highly flammable liquid oxygen is stored a large quantities.

Pauma Valley’s Secret to Healthy Eating
San Diego Daily Transcript | Friday, July 17, 2009

Pauma tribal member Claude Devers, left, shows his grandson, Torin Chavez, center, and a friend the basics of organic farming. Photo: Lisa Gisczinski, Elle Photography for Tierra Miguel Foundation

 PAUMA VALLEY — Eating healthy is easier than you might think: Go organic. It improves not only your diet but also your environment and, ultimately, your health. Today, you’ll find more organic produce at increasingly lower prices, and your children can learn about organic food as early as elementary school — thanks in part to people like the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians.

In the spirit of better health and the empowerment of future generations, the Pauma tribe began the process of organically certifying the fruit grown on and near its reservation in early 2008. Instead of sourcing fruit from distant locations, its casino now uses citrus and avocados from its 135-acre grove.

“It’s better for the environment,” said Water Master Miguel Hernandez, a tribal member who manages the grove. “Plus, the fewer pesticides and fertilizers we use, the less gets into the groundwater.”

Asteroids Named in Luiseño Language

PALOMAR MOUNTAIN — By giving three asteroids American Indian names, astronomers at the Palomar Observatory and tribal leaders said Tuesday they hope to spark new interest in an ancient local culture.

The three asteroids discovered with the 200-inch telescope atop Palomar Mountain were named after figures in the Luiseno tribe’s story of creation: Tukmit, Tomaiyowit and Kwiila.

“As we try to teach our culture to our kids, this is very significant to us,” said Chris Devers, chairman of the Pauma Band of Mission Indians, whose reservation is a few miles down the mountain in Pauma Valley.

Devers said the Luisenos, the original inhabitants of Palomar Mountain and Pauma Valley, believed that Tukmit, or Father Sky, was made from nothingness and together with Tomaiyowit, Earth Mother, bore the first people. (In the photo above, Children from the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians perform a Native American “thank you” blessing during a ceremony to name three asteroids Tuesday at Palomar Mountain. Photo: Bill Wechter, Staff Photographer)

North County Times Story

The San Diego Union Tribune Story