Saturday, November 13, 2021

Pechanga Pu’éska Mountain Day celebraed by City of Temecula . Pablo Apis and Paulina Hunter Descendants Lament the Loss of their Heritage

 Temecula Valley residents are invited to join city leaders and members of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians for a sunset ceremony honoring the tribe’s presence and culture.  Historic tribal relations, whose ties to the tribe were severed by current chairman Mark Macarro via a process called disenrollment will be absent.

The Monday, Nov. 15, event will be at 4:30 p.m. on the steps of Temecula City Hall, 41000 Main St.  My ancestor Paulina Hunter was around Pu'eska Mountain before the civil war and came back to the area before the turn of the 20th century.  Her heritage was stripped posthumously, giving her no chance to defend herself.

Leaders will recite the annual Pechanga Pu’éska Mountain Day proclamation, drafted by the city and tribal councils after the tribe bought Pu’éska Mountain on Nov. 15, 2012.

The Pechanga tribe’s purchase stopped the land from a becoming massive open-pit mine, the Liberty Quarry. Tribal members expressed concerns the proposed quarry south of Temecula would obliterate a sacred Luiseño creation site. Opponents also cited concerns about air pollution and truck traffic.

The local holiday is “an opportunity to reflect on the profound ways in which the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Temecula’s first citizens, shaped our community’s character and heritage,” a city news release states.

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