Friday, June 1, 2007

The Manuela Miranda - Apish Clan History: Unbroken Line of Lineal Descendents

For centuries, the Pechanga/Temecula people lived in peace with one another. Despite occasional differences, we have always struggled and survived as a unified community. In deed, under the leadership of Chief Pablo Apis and others, our common ancestors literally fought and died for the land which was set aside by Executive Orders in 1882 and 1893 for the use and benefit of the “Temecula Band or village of Mission Indians“.
Manuela Miranda 

The Temecula Indian village, from which our ancestors were forcibly expelled from in 1875, was located within the tribe's aboriginal territory on land which was deeded to Chief Pablo Apis as the Little Temecula Rancho and which was to be set aside for the Temecula Indians by the Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The treaty, which was signed at Chief Apis' adobe in the Tribe's village, was never ratified by the US Congress. The land on which the Pechanga Resort and Casino is located is actually a corner of Chief Pablo Apis‘ original land grant.

We are lineal descendants of Chief Pablo Apis. We trace or lineage through his daughter Juana Apis and granddaughter Manuela Apis Despierto. Our names, and the names of our ancestors stretching back to Chief Apis, are included in the Tribe's Official Enrollment Book and referenced in the Tribe's Constitution and Bylaws.

Members of our family served the Pechanga Band for generations in many different capacities. Manuela Miranda descendents have been elected to serve on the Cultural Resources Committee, the Enrollment Committee, and various other committees. We have been elected to represent the Pechanga Band as ambassadors for Indian Country through the Americans for Indian Opportuntiy program and we have been elected to represent the Pechanga Band as tribal liasons/representatives for multi-tribal organizations such as the Luiseno Intertribal NAGPRA Coalition and Indian Health Services. We have served on the Constitution and By-laws Committee, the Pechanga Development Committee, and on Committees for the Pechanga Silver Feathers. We have donated countless hours to prepare meals, gather clothes and other goods for other tribal members and Indian people. A family member also donated over a dozen palm trees to the Pechanga Band for planting at the Pechanga Park for the enjoyment of all Tribal members.

Yet, in spite of our solid and unbroken ties to the Tribe, our lineal descent was questioned by a group of “concerned tribal members”. This group launched a propaganda campaign to disenroll us from the tribe. This campaign, along with their association with those who make the decisions regarding membership issues, eventually led to our disenrollment.

Many, including the “concerned members”, thought that we would go away quietly. In fact, they were counting on shielding themselves and their actions from redress by invoking the Tribe's immunity from suit.

However, we are fighters. We will not allow the gross violations of Tribal, state, and federal law go without having our day in court. And, in July 2004, a Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled that the courts of California, as mandated by Congress in Public Law 280, have jurisdiction to hear our lawsuit against the individual tribal members who damaged us.

We will continue the fight in many arenas, and we will use this website as ( a tool to update visitors  on our disenrollment issue and disenrollments throughout Indian Country.


Anonymous said...

When will the government do it's job? And get this issue settled,

Anonymous said...

This Pechanga thing is getting worse and worse to read about.

Anonymous said...

The more money Pechanga spends on politicians, the less important rights violations become.

Anonymous said...

Pablo Apis died in the early 1850s. He could not have participated later in Pechanga matters like the formation of the Pechanga Indian Reservation in 1882 or its leadership. While a Luiseno Indian man, Pablo Apis came from an Indian village near the San Luis Rey Mission, not from Temecula. Pablo Apis could not have associated with Pechanga due to his origin elsewhere and his earlier death. The non-members mislead the reading public by failing to offer historical facts concerning the life of Pablo Apis.

White Buffalo said...

December 31, 2012 at 7:15 PM

What a hypocrite, Pechanga is the name of a place not a people in fact the people who you say started the reservation were living on Apis land when they were forcibly removed. You sound white of spirit in that you show your ingratitude to a man who fought for your families and kept you on his land. You and the rest of the tribal council that took action against a dead woman Manuela Miranda have no concept of what the Indian way is. Shame on you

Indian gaming has created a subculture among our tribes’ that mirrors the greater society of America. Where lust of power and greed for money, has become the new spirit in the minds of many of our brothers and sisters. It is my belief that in the past when tribes and families depended upon one another, and believed in doing the right thing for the greater good of the community would first use council and medicine on those who showed signs of an evil spirit within. It is not honorable to seek the wealth of this world, so tribes who do are now cut off from the spirit that brings peace and harmony to the people. I feel pity, disappointment, and shame, for the new Indian way leads to destruction.

The objective of the community should be to preserve the community by any means, and that banishing someone was a very last resort that was not taken lightly. As most are aware now that is not the way of the people now.

I have family that is still has membership in Pechanga. The power and greed led them down a road that split the family apart when they decided that we did not belong because we would not vote as we were told to vote. I do not hate them, what I hate is what they let happen to themselves. There is a difference. I have witnessed many tribes start down that road of destruction in pursuit of money and political power, yet there are a few tribes who have resisted and it is they who treat their people and community with respect

The Tribal Leaders of this time are short sighted in their politics and beliefs. There is more at stake than just money. Casinos’ are not part of our culture, nor is the lifestyle that the wealth brings with it Wealth not earned through hard work is usually not respected. Now if the tribe was to take the per capita payments from the individual members and put it into the reservation infrastructure and programs that benefit all Indians both tribal and those who are not, but are from the same people the spirit of the people would grow and would truly be a force. I was taught that we need to think in terms of our grandchildren and their kids. Meaning that we make the right choices now to benefit them in the future.

Esther Salinas Florin said...

Thank you always for your Words, White Buffalo. You have a talent for finding the core and beating heart of the issue and holding it up for those who still have eyes to See. I am grateful for the star that is within you. It gives me hope that all is not lost forever.

I Know that I am Apish, that my heart and my hands and my eyes are bound to the Land that my ancestors have touched since Time Immemorial... to have to carry that knowledge inside me and not be able to Live it is a lonely and heartbreaking thing. But I am still my Self. I will always be a daughter of Pablo.

Anonymous said...

This comment for Esther I am doing family research I end up at Pablo Apis here is my email any help thank you to know their more family out their

Unknown said...

How very sad to read about such greed and corruption. I am a proud Yurok and our people respect the people and most tribes people who are not members but have parents/ grandparents who are, still have a part within our culture. We have a casino being constructed however, because we are the largest tribe in the state of California with over 5,000 members our casino revenue will be funnelled back into tribal prigrams and will not be paid out in monthly per capita payments. Because of this I feel our leadership honors our traditions by taking steps that will benefit all in some shape or form. Tribes people who choose to ignore practicing their tribal traditions should be ashamed to call themselves indian. My heart goes out to all families who have suffered diss-enrollment, banishment at the hands of their own people. May the creator bless them for their evil deeds! Wok'low, (thank you spiritually).