San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized tribe of Serrano people in San Bernardino County, California.[1][2] The band is made up of the Yuhaviatam clan of Serrano people, who have traditionally lived in the San Bernardino Mountains.[3] The other federally recognized Serrano tribe is the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, located in Riverside County, California.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( California)
English, Serrano
Related ethnic groups
other Serrano people


The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is headquartered in Highland in San Bernardino County.[4] The tribe is governed by a democratically elected, seven-person tribal council.[3] Their current tribal chairperson is Lynn Valbuena.[4]


San Manuel Reservation [5] is a federally recognized Indian reservation in San Bernardino County. Originally, it was 658 acres (266 ha) in size,[2] but has expanded to 800 acres (320 ha). Established in 1891, the reservation was named for Santos Manuel, a prominent tribal leader.[3]

In December 2016, the tribe arranged lighting of the Arrowhead landmark for 14 nights, in honor of the 14 victims killed by domestic terrorists the year before in San Bernardino County. This is a California Historical Monument and namesake for various local places.[6] Together with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians of Southern California, the San Manuel Band made a "joint donation totaling $600,000 to the San Bernardino United Relief Fund shortly after the shooting last year.[6]

Economic development

The San Manuel band employs more than 4000 people and is one of the primary employers in the Inland Empire region of California.[3] They own and operate San Manuel Casino (renovated in 2016), Serrano Buffet, The Pines, Rock N’ Brews, Chingon's Kitchen, Tutu's Food Court, and Big Mo's, all located in Highland. They also fund the San Manuel Amphitheater, located near Devore.[7] In 2019, the band made a donation of $25 million to the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.[8] In honour of the donation, the fifth floor of the children's hospital is slated to be named the San Manuel Maternity Pavilion.

See also


  1. "San Manuel Reservation." SDSU: California Indians and Their Reservations. 2011. Retrieved 25 Nov 2012.
  2. Pritkzer 143
  3. "Tribal Government." Archived 15 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Retrieved 25 Nov 2012.
  4. "Tribal Directory." National Congress of American Indians. Retrieved 25 Nov 2012.
  5. San Manuel Reservation: 34°09′23″N 117°13′03″W
  6. ICTMN Staff, "14 Victims, as Many Lights: San Manuel Band Rekindles Famed Arrowhead to Mark San Bernardino Massacre", 2 December 2016; accessed 2 December 2016
  7. "San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino San Bernardino." 500 Nations. Retrieved 25 Nov 2012.
  8. "Loma Linda University Children's Hospital receives $25 million gift from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians". Retrieved 27 August 2019.


  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1

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