Published on December 21, 2012 by Amy
The Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, formerly known as the Cuyapaipe Community of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Cuyapaipe Reservation, is a federally recognized tribe of Kumeyaay Indians, who are sometimes known as Mission Indians. “Ewiiaapaayp” is Kumeyaay for “leaning rock,” a prominent feature on the reservation.
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The Ewiiaapaayp Indian Reservation, formerly known as the Cuyapaipe Reservation, is a federal Indian reservation located in eastern San Diego County, California. The reservation was created in 1891 by the US Congress.
Two parcels of land form the reservation. The main Ewiiaapaayp Reservation is 4,102.5 acres (16.602 km2) large, located near Mount Laguna, and 19 miles (31 km) east of Alpine. Only 1% of this arable, with the majority being steep and rocky. No public utilities are available on this parcel. Because of the inaccessibility to this reservation, many Ewiiaapaayp families moved and enrolled in other Kumeyaay tribes.
The second parcel, known as the Little Ewiiaapaayp Indian Reservation, is 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land located within Alpine, which was put into trust in 1986. That land is leased to the Southern Indian Health Council, which provides health care for seven Kumeyaay tribes as well as non-Natives living in the area.
In recent years, 13 people lived on seven houses on the reservation and bred horses. The only access to the reservation is on foot, since it is serviced by a dirt road, gated in several locations. In 1973, two of the five enrolled members lived on the reservation.
The Ewiiaapaayp Band is headquartered in Alpine, California. They are governed by a democratically elected tribal council, according to their constitution, ratified in 1973 and amended in 2002. They are a self-governance tribe, as outlined in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. Robert Pinto is their current tribal chairperson.
Enrolled members include Michael Garcia; Harlan Pinto, Jr.; Harlan Pinto, Sr.; Gloria Pinto; Robert Pinto, Sr.; and James Robertson.
In 2006, the tribe formed Leaning Rock Water, a company providing bottled drinking water.
The reservation hosts an annual three-day celebration, the Ewiiaapaayp Gathering, at Thing Valley ranch during the last week of July. Gates are opened, and the public is welcome. The gathering features birdsongs, basket weaving, acorn processing and other cultural demonstrations, camping, peon games, and a barbecue.