San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Information

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

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Travel Info

  • Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time

Yaamava’ Resort & Casino At San Manuel, 777 San Manuel Blvd., Highland, CA 92346. 1-800-359-2464

Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel (formerly San Manuel Casino) features its Serrano Spa with treatments paying homage to the landscape that has sustained the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for eons. Its restaurants range from  the laid-back Rock & Brews to fine-dining at the Pines Steakhouse, and performers take the stage at Tukut Lounge.  Located just 60 minutes from Los Angeles, the 432-room hotel is named for the Serrano word for ‘spring,’ and offers an expansive pool deck where guests can relax in their own personal lounge chair or in one of the seven private cabanas. The top floor of the hotel tower features an exclusive lounge with indoor and outdoor areas allowing guests to take in sweeping views of the San Bernardino Mountains while indulging in culinary delights paired with the finest wines, spirits, hand crafted cocktails and mocktails. 

Bear Springs Hotel, Bear Springs Hotel, 27959 Highland Ave., Highland, CA 92346. 833-258-4745

Bear Springs Hotel is a full-service hotel and event space nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains in Highland, California. It offers a quiet boutique experience, featuring a bistro, fitness center and pool.

Notes to Visitors

San Manuel Pow Wow

Dance and drum groups from around the country participate in the annual San Manuel Pow Wow, held every September at San Manuel Stadium. One of the largest powwows in California, it features bird singing, gourd dancing, flag and honor songs, and competitive dancing with prize money over the three-day celebration of Native cultures. Native food and art vendors also share their talents.

California Native American Day at California State University San Bernardino

(Fourth Friday in September)

Hosted by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians on the grounds of California State University San Bernardino, this annual celebration invites all California tribes to honor Native American heritage through dance, music, food and art.

Other Resources

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