Published on October 6, 2013 by Amy
The Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians is a federally recognized tribe of Luiseño people, headquartered in Riverside County, California. On June 18, 1883, the Soboba Reservation was established by the United States government in San Jacinto, California.
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The Luiseño Indians first encountered Europeans acting as missionaries, and the Luiseno allowed them to come through their community because they were literate. Writers passed through the San Jacinto valley where the Luiseňo were settled and recorded much of their culture, and along with missionaries and soldiers were a part of the 1776 Juan Bautista de Anza expedition overland to and through Las Californias sponsored by Spanish monarchy. took the Luiseňo homeland and claimed it theirs for the San Antonio de Pala Asistencia cattle rancho.
According to Father Jose Sanchez: “Proceeding in the same direction, we stopped at Jaguara, so called by the natives, but by our people San Jacinto. This is the rancho for the cattle of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, distant from Temecula about eleven or twelve leagues.”
The reservation was given back to the Luiseňo after the United States Government took control of California. An Executive Order established the Soboba reservation June 19, 1883.
The members of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians have built a self-sustaining community. Their work includes agriculture and entertainment. Because of the businesses that they created, the economy of Soboba is strong. The tribe has built their own schools, including Noli Indian School, which serves grades twelve. They have also created non-profit organizations and a charity with the money they have made from all of their business.
The Soboba began their economy with agriculture, starting with apricots. Over time, they developed the land and the land surrounding the reservation. The members of the tribe worked their way outside of their own community and started working in the citrus industry. This agricultural industry allowed them to build their economy and expand.
The Soboba established a casino to earn profits. Their advantage was given to them because of California gambling laws. They were able to operate a casino as long as it stayed on their reservation. This casino is a premier gaming spot in California for many. The location of the casino is another great advantage because it is about 100 miles outside of Los Angeles, California. Many people from all over California come to the casino. Soboba Casino is the biggest source of income for the tribe, and continues to grow every day.
Soboba has also developed a country club, which hosts golf tournaments and has a condominium resort. This resort opened May 2008 and holds the Soboba Golf Classic, which is a major golf tournament in California. This is another great source of income for the tribe.
Membership of the tribe is determined only by birth. Although a member is not required to live or be born on the reservation, they still must be a descendant of another member. Being a member of the tribe entitles one to voting rights for the government of the tribe.
The government is administered by five tribal council members. The tribal chairman is the highest position of power and is elected by a popular vote of other members from the tribe. The vice chairwoman, secretary, treasurer, and member at large are put into position by demand of the elected council. The tribal government makes business decisions and laws for the Soboba reservation. Elections are held like general elections in the United States, and absentee ballots are available upon prior approval.