San Manuel Indians

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					San Manuel Indians
              By :
Joshua Krause & Richard Sahatjian
      History of the Serrano Indians of the San
                Manuel Reservation
   The San Manuel Band of Mission
    Indians are of the native American
    tribe known as “Serrano,” a name
    given to them by the Spaniards,
    which means mountaineers.
   Long before the Spaniard and
    European settlers arrived here, they
    roamed a territory that spanned the
    San Bernardino mountains and valley
    and adjoining desert lands--from Mt.
    San Antonio to San Gorgonio Pass
    and beyond to the Northern slopes of
    the San Jacinto Mountains.
   They shared hunting and gathering grounds, by
    permission, with their Indian neighbors of the Gabrielano,
    Cahuilla, and Luiseno tribes.
                  Serrano Village Life
   Serrano villages were situated near streams, springs, or other water
   They lived in circular, domed houses of willow frames and tule
    thatching. Here, they slept and stored their belongings.
   Women did most of the daily chores together under a “ramada”, a
    village shade structure of thatched willow supported by poles.
   The village leader, “Kika,” lived in a larger ceremonial house,
    called a “kishahturuch,” where their people gathered for prayer,
    songs, healing, other spiritual ceremonies, or to discuss community
                             Village Life
   In addition to the ceremonial house        Men, women, and children would
    of the “Kika,” most villages had a          gather inside cleansing their bodies
    sweat house built next to a creek or        through sweat, while strengthening
    stream. These were circular                 their spirits through prayer
    structures with earthen covered roofs      After the sweat, they bathed in the
    supported by willow-pole frames and         nearby stream.
   Heated rocks were placed in a pit in
    the center of the sweat house,
    generating a smooth heat when
    doused with water by the prayer
 Serrano people survived by gathering, hunting, and
 Honey, mesquite, pinon nuts, acorns, yucca roots, various
  seeds, roots and bulbs were gathered according to the
 Serrano men hunted deer, mountain sheep, antelope, and
  rabbits, along with various birds of which the quail was
  most desirable.
 For larger game they used short bow and arrows made of
  reed or cane. Smaller animals were taken with throwing
  sticks, traps, and snares.
   Meats were cooked in a variety of          The sun was out most of the year for
    ways: baked in earthen ovens; boiled        the Serrano Indians so they needed
    in water-tight baskets into which           little clothing.
    heated stones were dropped; or by          For the cold damp weather, they made
    parching the meat with hot coals in         garments of deer skins. Also robes of
    shallow trays.                              rabbit and beaver skins also gave
   Plant foods were eaten both raw,            comfort during the winter. These
    cooked, and sometimes sun-dried and         were sometimes decorated with beads
    stored for later use.                       of shell, bones, and stone.
   In preparing and storing their foods,
    they used knives crafted of flint,
    scraping tools made of bone or stone,
    earthen pots and trays, and many
    types of woven baskets.
   Yucca fiber, bunch grass, willow
    splints, and other reeds and grasses
    were used in basketry.
                Health & Education
 To provide easy access to health care services for their
  people and other native Americans, the San Manuel
  Reservation has its own medical clinic. Their clinic is run
  with assistance form the Indian Health Services, and it
  provides general medical, dental and eye care.
 They have their own tutoring program and facility,
  complete with computers, located on the reservation
 For college bound tribal members, the tribe provides
  scholarships that cover tuition, housing and other
  educational expenses.
             A Sovereign Nation
 The  San Manuel reservation like others in the
  united States, is a sovereign nation with its own
  system of government and operates by laws that
  are independent from all other states.
 This means that they do not have to pay any sort of
  taxes to the federal or state government. All money
  earned by their casino is direct profit after they pay
  their employees.
                   The Casino
 To  better provide for the health, welfare, and
  education of their people, the tribal council opened
  a bingo hall in the 1980’s.
 The business expanded in 1994 to include casino
 The casino provides employment for over 1200
  people of which 95% are non-Indian residents.
The Casino
        Since 1986, San Manuel has been
         the premier gaming establishment
         in the Inland Empire.
        San Manuel Indian Bingo and
         Casino has over 2,300 seats.
        Prior to 1986, San Manuel Band
         of Mission Indians dwelled in
         75% unemployment.
        In 1995, the San Manuel Indian
         Bingo and Casino made
         approximately $303,000.00 in
         charitable contributions
                Our Visit to the Casino
   In our visit to the casino we          The next few slides are
    expected that the Indians on            pictures that were taking of the
    the reservation would be living         reservation.
    modestly and that there would
    be many signs of tribal culture.
   To our surprise we found the
    Indians on the reservation were
    all living in some of the largest
    houses we had ever seen.
   In addition we saw no signs of
    Indian culture except for a
    small cemetery which
    contained quite a few graves
    with crosses for tombs.
Pictures of Homes
   Here is a house that is         More Homes!
    being built.
                       Other Surprises
   While driving around the              This didn’t seem to make
    reservation we also noticed            much sense since the casino
    that each house had around             was supposed to help provide
    eight cars. And these were not         for the healthcare, welfare and
    just any eight cars but the most       education of their people.
    expensive and luxurious ones
    you can find.
                  Final Thoughts
 It is obvious that the San Manuel tribe is not suffering
  economically, but it is also important not to forget about
  those tribes that do not have casinos.
 It only seems fair that this excess of money be distributed
  to those other tribes that are not as fortunate.
 Lastly, it again only seems fair that Indians pay taxes to
  the federal government. They can definitely afford it and
  also they take advantage of government services like
  schools, defense, roads, etc.

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