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.

CSUSB Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Santos Manuel Student Union Building

California State San Bernardino (CSUSB), on March 17, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the grand opening of the Santos Manuel Student Union North (SMSU) building, a three-story, 120,000-square-foot, $90-million expansion of the Santos Manuel Student Union complex. The SMSU complex—which actually consists of three buildings—is the largest building in the California State University system named after an indigenous elder and leader. It features a multi-purpose ballroom, an eight-lane bowling alley and game room, a pub, food service and retail space, collaborative spaces for student organizations and support centers, and the Coyote Bookstore.

At the ceremony, CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales announced the building’s namesake, Santos Manuel, the founding leader of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, will receive an In Memoriam (Posthumous) Honorary Doctorate—CSU’s highest honor—at its 2022 spring commencement in May.

“As an anchor institution in the region, we would be remiss not to recognize his long-lasting contributions to the Tribal communities in Inland Southern California,” Morales said. “We can think of few others who best exemplify our region’s, state’s and nation’s most distinguished leaders and humanitarians, individuals whose efforts have transcended the ordinary and made a remarkable impact on the lives of generations of people.”

Read more about the ceremony here.


Chaffey College Foundation Receives $1.7 Million Grant From San Manuel

More Chaffey College students will have access to hospitality management and culinary arts training and careers with the support of a three-year, $1.7-million grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. 

Chaffey plans to create a career pipeline through its partnership—offering at least six paid internships per semester, doubling the number of students able to enroll in the program, and adding faculty and staff positions. More students will be able to participate with a “flipped classroom” approach: lectures and video instruction taught remotely and laboratory activity in the classroom. 

The grant will provide students with state-of-the-art, industry-standard kitchen equipment, as well as a food truck. It will also help pay for uniforms and knife kits for culinary students. In addition, more than 30 culinary and hospitality students can become “San Manuel Scholars” through Chaffey’s “Fund a Dream” scholarship program. 

Chaffey students, Yaamava Resort & Casino at San Manuel team members, and high school and community college students enrolled in the California Virtual Campus program can enroll in the Chaffey College Hospitality and Culinary Arts program. After completing one year of instruction and other requirements, students will be able to apply for paid internships.

“We pride ourselves in giving Chaffey students the preparation they need to hit the ground running their first day on the job,” said Associate Superintendent of Instruction and Institutional Effectiveness Laura Hope. “This partnership will give our hospitality and culinary programs an extra boost to prepare more students for lucrative careers.”

Read more about the Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Growth Initiative


SMBMI Awards $1.3 Million to The River’s Edge Ranch

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians awarded River’s Edge Ranch—a Lucerne Valley nonprofit substance rehabilitation center for men—a $1.3-million grant to help with its expansion project. 

The grant quadruples the $250,000 raised separately in 2021 during the River’s Edge Ranch’s G1VE FOR ONE capital campaign. On February 12, the center held a groundbreaking event to mark the start of the project, which will increase capacity from 30 men to more than 50 men. Phase 1 of the expansion will include a fully renovated kitchen, new bunk housing, new dining facilities and new office facilities.

“We are truly blessed to receive this generous gift from the Tribe that will allow us to restore hope, meaning and purpose to even more men,” said River’s Edge Ranch Board of Directors President Doug Whiteman. “It will position the Ranch for future growth and provide additional opportunities for those in recovery to positively impact their families, places of work and communities.”

River’s Edge Ranch is located in the Tribe’s ancestral high desert lands and has served hundreds of men seeking to recover from substance abuse since 2007. Its multi-purpose approach effectively integrates the use of manual labor, animal-assisted therapy, service to others, faith and mentoring support. After living on the Ranch for one year, the men have the option of moving into supervised transitional housing and work full-time jobs while continuing to rebuild their lives.  

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Sponsors Native American Exhibit at DISCOVERY Children’s Museum

DISCOVERY Children’s Museum and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians recently joined forces to present a new pop-up exhibit honoring Native American cultures on the museum’s third floor. The Native American Artifact Exhibition—located in the “Solve-It” gallery—features Southern Paiute basketry, jewelry, and pottery and a Navajo headdress. 

The Tribe donated $50,000 to the museum, which provided funding for the temporary exhibit of Native American artifacts in partnership with Clark County Museum and Lost City Museum. A museum-wide cultural programming highlights the Native American heritage with rock writing (petroglyphs and pictographs), pottery design, and land acknowledgement mapping. In addition, DISCOVERY partnered with Indigenous Educators Empowerment and The Indian Center to bring artists from local tribes to teach cultural workshops and perform native dances. Families will be able to enjoy the exhibit and programming through February 28, 2022.



The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians recently awarded a $2.22 million grant to the city of San Bernardino to help fund a new mobile veterinary clinic, improvements at Seccombe Lake Park and new police vehicles.

The agreement—finalized in late December—provides $1.1 million to allow San Bernardino’s Animal Services Department to travel to community centers and other locations to perform veterinary services to residents lacking transportation; $1 million for additional renovations to the park, including an all-inclusive playground and restoration of the lake’s center island; and $120,000 for the police vehicles that will serve portions of the city’s eastern district near the San Manuel Reservation. This is the second major grant awarded to the city by the Tribe in less than a year. SMBMI awarded $1.5 million in April 2021 to help fund improvements to the city’s animal shelter as well as services for animals and to begin the work on an expanded shelter.

“The city of San Bernardino deserves a safe community and access to wellness activities for residents and families,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman Ken

Ramirez. “It is an honor to partner with our neighboring community to provide additional resources and access to activities that strengthen the city.”

“The grant from San Manuel will help us continue to put the shine back in Seccombe Lake Park and our downtown,” said San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia. “We will enhance public safety and provide a greater level of service to our pet owners and their pets. San Bernardino is truly appreciative of San Manuel’s support.”

Read More about the $2.2 million grant.