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Pala Indian Reservation: Wikis


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Coordinates: 33°21′15″N 117°00′05″W / 33.35417°N 117.00139°W / 33.35417; -117.00139 The Pala Indian Reservation is located in the middle San Luis Rey River Valley in northern San Diego County, California, east of the community of Fallbrook, and has been assigned feature ID 272502. Historic variant names used to describe the area include Mission Indian Reservation and Mission Indian Reserve. The reservation has a land area of 52.163 km² (20.140 sq mi) and reported an official resident population of 1,573 persons in the 2000 census, about 44 percent of whom were of solely Native American heritage. Robert H. Smith is the Tribal Chairman.

The reservation occupies parts of four 7.5 minute topographic maps: Boucher Hill, Pala, Pechanga, and Vail Lake, California. The area consists of area in and around Pala, California. According to a list of California tribal entities on Senator Barbara Boxer's web site, the Pala tribal areas are home to Cupeño and Luiseño language groups. The Cupeño language is sometimes written with a guttural stop (Cupe'o) or with the space dropped (Cupeo).

The tribe is officially called the Pala Band of Mission Indians and has about 1,000 members. It is a federally recognized Indian tribe. The Cupeño people were forcibly removed to Pala in 1901 from their ancestral homeland, called Kupa, on what is now called Warner's Ranch east of Pala. This event is referred to by the tribe as the "Cupeño Trail of Tears."

Pala is the site of an assistencia, an 'arm' of the Catholic Mission at San Luis Rey, downstream toward the coast. At the site of the assistencia is an historic cemetery

Traditionally a modest and sometimes poor tribe, the Pala Band now has one of the largest and most successful casinos and resort hotels in Southern California, Pala Casino Resort and Spa. It uses proceeds from the gaming and hospitality enterprises for important social services, education and infrastructure improvements to the reservation.

Another major tribal group, the Pauma Band of Mission Indians (Luiseño) are to the east and south along State Route 76.

See also


  • Pala Reservation, California United States Census Bureau
  • Bean, Lowell J. and Shipek, Florence C. (1978) "Luiseño," in 'California,' vol. 8, ed. Robert Heizer, Handbook of North American Indians (Wash., D. C.: Smithsonian Institution): 550–563.
  • Bean, L. J. and Smith, Charles R., "Cupeño," Ibid, pp. 588–591.
  • Hyer, Jose R., 2001. 'We Are Not Savages': Native Americans in Southern California and he Pala Reservation, 1840–1920 (E. Lansing: Michigan State University Press).
  • Karr, Steven M., 2000. "Water We Believed Could Never Belong to Anyone: the San Luis Rey River and the Pala Indians of Southern California," American Indian Quarerly, 24(3): 381-

External links



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