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 and Yaamava’ raise over $95,000 in fight against breast cancer

Team members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel participated in this year’s San Manuel Cares Breast Cancer Awareness campaign to support two local nonprofits in the fight against the disease.

Funds will provide a hand up to Michelle’s Place and the Pink Ribbon Place, who are putting forward resources to individuals and families battling breast cancer.

Team members and Yaamava’ guests, along with donations from the Tribe, raised $47,602 for Michelle’s Place and The Pink Ribbon Place. Through the Tribe’s dollar-for-dollar matching gift programs, the donations to each organization doubled to bring the total to $95,204.

National Native American Veterans Memorial Dedicated in Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian dedicated the National Native American Veterans Memorial with a ceremony at the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Nov. 11, which was part of a three-day event to honor Native veterans and reflect on their extraordinary service and sacrifice.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians was a major supporter of the memorial site—the first national landmark in the nation’s capital to spotlight the military contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

The memorial—designed by Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and Vietnam War veteran)—features an elevated stainless steel circle resting on a carved stone drum. It incorporates water for ceremonies, benches for gatherings and four lances for people to tie cloths for prayers and healing. Before the dedication ceremony, more than 1,500 veterans participated in a procession from the museum to the National Mall. Native Americans have served in every major military conflict in the U.S. since the Revolutionary War.

The museum hosted special programming in honor of the memorial’s dedication on Nov. 12 and 13, including hands-on activities, films and performances. The museum will continue to raise funds for an endowment for the memorial, to ensure its continued upkeep and provide support for ongoing programming and events about Native veterans.

National Indian Women Honor SMBMI Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena was honored for her efforts on the California and National Indian gaming commissions at the Annual National Indian Women’s “Supporting Each Other” Honor Lunch in early November. The luncheon was hosted at the Hyatt Hotel by Sacramento Convention Center by the National congress of American Indians, the largest and oldest American Native organization.

Chairwoman Valbuena was one of two honorees during the luncheon, as she was recognized for her 50 years of service representing Native people at the local, regional and national levels. She was also celebrated for her role with the National Museum of the American Indians and American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California.

The honor lunch was introduced by Veronica Homer, who was the first female President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). After being named president in 1994, Homer met with a small group of Native women to discuss the need to promote, honor and recognize the accomplishments of Native women leaders. Since then, Native women leaders are celebrated during NCAI conferences and related activities for their work in Indian Country and beyond.

SMBMI Supports University Native Student Programs

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a major partner of the University of Redlands’ Native Student Programs. The programs were established in 2010 to increase enrollment of Native American students from Southern California and beyond in college.

The Native Student Programs focus on students graduating to improve their personal and professional lives, as well as contribute to the advancement of Native tribes and groups. In addition, the programs involve outreach, recruitment, support and various activities for native students enrolled at the University of Redlands.

SMBMI and the university’s partnership includes multiple components, like the San Manuel Excellence in Leadership Scholars Program, created to increase access to higher education by providing financial assistance to Native students.

San Manuel Golf Tournament Raises Over $400,000 for Nonprofits

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel combined their efforts for the annual San Manuel Golf Tournament in early August, which raised more than $400,00 for local and national nonprofits.

With contributions from Tribal leaders, vendors and community partners, eight nonprofit organizations received a hand up for their commitment to creating a better tomorrow in the community and Indian Country.

Four tribal and four local nonprofits were awarded $50,000, respectively, for their commitment to education, health, economic and community development.

“I continue to be in awe of the thoughtfulness and generosity of our sponsors and partners to continue San Manuel’s mission of supporting organizations that are truly the boots on the ground for making our world a better place,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Business Committee Secretary Audrey Martinez. “These eight nonprofits are dedicated to improving the lives of so many Native Americans as well as local communities, and we are proud to be in a position where we can help. The tournament is just one of the many ways San Manuel embodies a culture of giving back.”

With more than 1,200 participants in attendance over the weeklong tournament, this was the largest tournament ever to be hosted by San Manuel and Yaamava’.

Read more about the San Manuel Golf Tournament.