San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Community Center

For more than two decades, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has made generous contributions to nonprofits and government agencies to make a difference in their surrounding communities and Indian Country. Below are some highlights of our charitable giving efforts.

San Manuel Funds Native American Land Conservancy to Protect Sacred Lands

The Native American Land Conservancy has dedicated its efforts to protecting sacred lands since 1998 and will continue to do so with a recent grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

San Manuel funded $231, 946 for the organization to preserve and protect tribal sacred lands through education programs, advocacy and land management. NALC seeks to preserve areas that are considered sacred to numerous tribes in the region.

The Tribe presented NALC a check for the grant on March 13, 2023, at Coyote Hole in Joshua Tree, which is one of the sacred sites protected by the organization. The grant will also allow NALC to work closely with conservation partners and other organizations to improve the environment, the land, the flora, the fauna and its habitants.

“This gift from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will enable us to continue to protect our lands and invest in tools and vehicles to access these lands,” Michael J. Madrigal, president of the Native American Land Conservancy, said. “It’s a daily battle to maintain these spaces that are sacred to our people – they are critical to our way of life, and our cultural survival.”

San Manuel Recognized for Dedication to San Bernardino and Highland Communities

The San Bernardino City Unified School District recognized the Tribe for its commitment to create pathways to education in the San Bernardino and Highland communities with the Community Partnership Recognition and Appreciation Award. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has long supported students, program and services within the district to create a better future for students and families.

Business Committee member Laurena Bolden accepted the award on Feb. 21, 2023, as San Manuel was recognized for its efforts in the Tribe’s ancestral territory.

Education is one of the Tribe’s funding areas in their charitable giving program. The Tribe is committed to advance communities in the Inland Empire and Indian Country through the education pillar by partnering with schools, districts and nonprofit organizations.

Makerspace Provides Opportunity to Education with Boys & Girls Club and San Manuel

More than 900 youth in Redlands now have additional access to science, technology, math and arts through the partnership between the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Redlands-Riverside. The Makerspace will replace outdated technology in the computer lab at the teen center, while also maintaining the clubhouse in Redlands.

The organization was a recipient of San Manuel’s Tribal Youth Grantmakers, a program that teaches Tribal youth to provide a hand up to the community through charitable giving. A ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-February celebrated the official opening of the Makerspace as youth from the community had the opportunity to experience the various activities the program offers.

Youth in the Redlands and Riverside communities will engage in activities relating to 3D printers, sewing machines, cardboard-building projects and program coding. The Makerspace is designed to interest participants in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematic (STEAM) careers.

SMBMI Team Members Raise Funds in Highland Y Run

The Highland Y Run is the longest-running community 5K activity in Highland that has spanned over 40 years to help raise funds for the YMCA of the East Valley and the organization’s community programs.

The YMCA of the East Valley serves people of all ages and backgrounds through a wide range of programs that focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Its financial assistance program benefits the community by offering scholarships to Highland youth and families who have limited resources to participate in the programs.

During the annual run in late January, team members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians joined the community to aid the organization’s financial assistance, community engagement and healthy living programs. San Manuel sponsored the 5K and 10K races that took place at Arroyo Verde Elementary School in Highland for the third consecutive year.

SMBMI Helps Launch Pathbreaker Program with California Indian Nations College

The California Indian Nations College (CINC) launched its Pathbreaker Program with the help from a $1.235 million grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The program will pave the way in improving the curriculum of California tribal education, as well support students in their academic careers.

The Pathbreaker Program will prepare students academically, culturally, and socially for successful transfer into higher education and professional opportunities following their enrollment with CINC.

Beyond summer programs, the Pathbreaker Program will offer workshops throughout the school year to develop professional skills and strengthen tribal student retention. Over the next three years, CINC aims to increase the overall enrollment and student success, and to secure additional funding for continued support in actively engaged student support efforts.

“San Manuel believes a well-rounded education provides Native students the necessary grounding to meet the challenges of today’s world,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena. “Too often, our students find mainstream educational paths overly restrictive, often drawing them away from their tribal communities and not accounting for the realities that define who they are as Native people. Our goal in supporting the Pathbreaker Program is two-fold: to keep these students connected to their identities while enabling them to set a path through higher education that will bring them success.”

CINC offers culturally inclusive and responsive curriculum to the surrounding communities of the Coachella Valley and the Inland Empire, as well as trailblazing higher education opportunities across California Indian Country.