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Viejas Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians

Viejas Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
Anthony Pico, chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, photo by Dale Frost
Total population
Regions with significant populations
United States (California)
Ipai,[2] Tipai,[3] English
Traditional tribal religion,
Christianity (Roman Catholicism)[4]
Related ethnic groups
other Kumeyaay tribes, Cocopa,
Quechan, Paipai, and Kiliwa

The Viejas (Baron Long) Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians of the Viejas Reservation, also called the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, is a federally recognized tribe of Kumeyaay Indians.[4]


  • Reservations 1
  • Government 2
  • Economic development 3
  • Events 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


In 1875, the Viejas Band shared the Capitan Grande Reservation along with the Barona Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians, which consisted of lands in and around the present day El Capitan Reservoir. The El Capitan Reservoir, forcibly purchased from the two tribes to provide water for San Diego, submerged what habitable land existed on the reservation. The two tribes jointly control this reservation. It is undeveloped but serves as an ecological preserve.[5]

The Viejas Reservation (), also known as the Baron Long Reservation, is a federal Indian reservation located in San Diego County, California, near Alpine. After the band was displaced from Capitan Grande, this new reservation was created by executive order in 1934. The reservation is about 1,609 acres (6.51 km2) large. Approximately 289 of the 394 enrolled members live on the reservation.[1]

The reservation is home to scrub oaks and chaparral. The name "Viejas" comes from the Spanish name for their land, "El Valle de Las Viejas" or "The Valley of the Old Women."[3] In 1973, 121 of the 127 enrolled members lived on the reservation.[2]


The Viejas Band is headquartered in Alpine, California. They are governed by a democratically elected, seven-person tribal council, who serve two-year terms. Their current administration as of January 3, 2011 is as follows:

  • Chairman: Anthony R. Pico
  • Vice Chairman: Robert "Cita" Welch, Jr.
  • Secretary: Anita Uqualla
  • Treasurer: Samuel Q. Brown
  • Councilmember: Greybuck S. Espinoza
  • Councilmember: Victor Woods
  • Councilmember: Raymond “Bear” Cuero[6]

Economic development

Viejas Casino and Turf Club, Alpine, California

The tribe owns and operates the Viejas Casino, Grove Steakhouse, Far East Winds, Mezz Deli, Daisy's Cafe, Harvest Buffet, V Lounge, DreamCatcher Lounge, and the 57-store Viejas Outlet Center. They also own the first Native American bank in California, Borrego Springs Bank, N.A., with branches in Alpine, Borrego Springs, and La Mesa. They own two recreational vehicle parks. Veijas Entertainment hosts concerts in a 1,500-seat outdoor arena and also promotes talent to casinos throughout the country.[7]

The tribe owns 50% of the Broadcast Company of the Americas, which operates a sports talk station, The Mighty 1090-AM in San Diego.[7]

Viejas partnered with the Forest County Potawatomi Community of Wisconsin, the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of California to create Four Fires, LLC, an economic development group. A similar project, Three Fires, LCC is shared between Viejas, and the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.[7]

The tribe is paying the San Diego State University $6 million for naming rights to the Viejas Arena.[8]


Two major annual ceremonies on the reservation are the "Clearing of the Cemetery", when tribal members clean and pay their respects at the two tribal cemeteries, and Dia de las Animas or All Soul's Day.[9]


  1. ^ a b "California Indians and Their Reservations: P." SDSU Library and Information Access. (retrieved 9 June 2010)
  2. ^ a b Shipek, 613
  3. ^ a b Eargle, 202
  4. ^ a b Pritzker, 147
  5. ^ Eargle, 202
  6. ^ "Viejas Government Officers." Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. (January 2011)
  7. ^ a b c "Viejas Enterprises." Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. (retrieved 9 June 2010)
  8. ^ "SDSU and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians Agree on Arena Naming Rights." SDSUniverse. 17 March 2009 (retrieved 9 June 2010)
  9. ^ Eargle, 203


  • Eargle, Jr., Dolan H. Northern California Guide: Weaving the Past and Present. San Francisco: Tree Company Press, 2000. ISBN 0-937401-10-2.
  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.
  • Shipek, Florence C. "History of Southern California Mission Indians." Handbook of North American Indians. Volume ed. Heizer, Robert F. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978. 610-618. ISBN 0-87474-187-4.

External links

  • Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, official website
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