The Coachella Valley climbs north to the San Bernardino Mountains, home of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Called Serrano by the Spanish (Serrano means “highlander”) the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are descended from the Yuhaaviatam (People of the Pines) Clan of the Maara’yam People.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is named for a great Yuhaaviatam leader called Santos Manuel by the Spanish. The Yuhaaviatam and other Maara’yam groups were forcibly relocated to Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in Los Angeles in the 1770s. In the 1860s, amid violence perpetrated against his people by California militias, Santos Manuel led the Yuhaaviatam to safety in the San Bernardino Valley.
The Act of Relief for Mission Indians was passed in 1891 and recognized the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians as a sovereign nation and secured their land, which today is 7.4 million acres. Since then, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has wisely developed their Tribal economy, and owns several hotels and properties near their homeland and in other states as well, securing their economic independence for generations to come.
The Tribe publishes Hamiinat Magazine. The Yuhaaviatam Clan has long used storytelling to honor the strength, perseverance and resiliency of its people, and Hamiinat, the magazine of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, is filled with stories about the Tribe’s history, legacy, culture, and future. Issues are available online to the general public at www.sanmanuel-nsn.gov/news/hamiinat-magazine.