Barona Band of Mission Indians

Barona Band of Mission Indians Information

With a long and storied history, The Barona Band of Mission Indians is always eager to share their culture and heritage, and is proud to welcome you to their land and the magnificent Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino. Established in 1932, the Barona Indian Reservation is home to this regal tribe, which is recognized by the United States government as a sovereign nation, and is governed by an elected Tribal Council.

 A strong and supportive community, the Barona Tribe is proud of its independence and self-reliance. The reservation features its own museum, school, fire station, gas station, church, museum, and community center. Tied together architecturally with the theme of a 1930's ranch, intended to honor the founders of the Barona Indian Reservation, the Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino attests to the vision, conviction, and determination of the Barona Band of Mission Indians.

 In the Tribe's continual efforts to preserve their culture, the reservation is also home to the Barona Cultural Center & Museum, a unique hands-on educational museum. Displays of handmade pottery, reed baskets, paintings, arrowheads, and other artifacts - over 2,000 in all - date back thousands of years, and bring to life the rich culture and history of San Diego's Native American community.


After thousands of years of peaceful life in the region, known today as San Diego County, Native American life was abruptly changed in the late 1700's. More than 200 years of hardship for Native Americans began with the arrival of the Spanish military and the establishment of the first presidio and mission in 1769. In 1875, the federal government established the Capitan Grande Reservation for the native people living in the area at that time. About 40 years later in 1932, the city literally bought the Capitan Grande Reservation to build a reservoir and the people were removed from their land.

In 1932, without a homeland but with some federal monies allotted from the sale, a group of theCapitan Grande Tribal members purchased the Barona Ranch which today is the Barona IndianReservation near Lakeside, about 30 miles northeast of San Diego. For many years living withoutelectricity and other services, the tribal members tried to create a living through the ranch and farming.Until the early 1990s, the Barona Tribe was still struggling economically in the backwoods of San Diego County. In 1994, the tribe, with the consulting guidance of Venture Catalyst, opened the Barona Casino "Big Top", and this property eventually became the world-class Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino. The casino has become the means to a restoration of self-sufficiency, prosperity and renewed hope. Unemployment and welfare dependency have dropped from 70 percent to zero on the Barona reservation.

Contact information:

  • (619) 443-7003, ext. 219
  • Travel Info:

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