Sycuan is one of 12 Kumeyaay Nation Bands existing today which are original to the Kumeyaay territory north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
There are a total of 18 Indian reservations existing in relation to the counties of San Diego and Imperial (and in relation to Baja California, Mexico to the south), more than any other county of the United States.
The Kumeyaay people have lived and prospered in the beautiful and moderate climate of the Kumeyaay territory. Their ancestral lands from the Pacific Ocean to the sand dunes just west of the Colorado River, and some 75 miles north and south of the boundary line between Mexico and the United States.
In 1875, after generations of terrible mistreatment of the Indians, the United States government, under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant, signed a Presidential Executive Order setting aside specific lands in San Diego County for the exclusive use and residence of the Kumeyaay. The current 640 acre—one square mile—Sycuan Indian Reservation in Dehesa Valley was included in Grant’s Executive Order.
True, the beautiful Kumeyaay ancestral lands secured for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation were remote, harsh, and not well suited for farming, but the Sycuan people—because of their endurance, resilience, and intelligence managed to survive. In 1891, with passage of the Act for the Relief of the Mission Indians, the United States recognized the sovereign status
of the California Indians.
Today, the people of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation stand proud, making the most of their relatively small reservation land base. Mindful of their rich ancestral past, the self-reliant members of Sycuan are planning and working diligently for the benefit of their future generations.