Welcome to Morongo

Set at the foot of the beautiful San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains, the Morongo Indian Reservation spans more than 35,000 acres and overlooks the vistas of the Banning Pass. Resilient and resourceful, the Morongo tribe has had to overcome many adversities.

Latest News

Morongo Golf Tournament Raises $10,000 for Cabazon Public Library

Morongo Golf Tournament Raises $10,000 for Cabazon Public Library

More than 100 golfers participated in the event at the Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon to help support the valuable community library.

Morongo Tribal Council Vice Chair James Siva (left) and Tribal Councilman Brian Lugo (right) present a $10,000 check to Cabazon Public Library Branch Manager Ted Conable (center).

Cabazon, Calif – More than 100golfers took to the fairways to help raise $10,000 to benefit the Cabazon Community Library at a golf tournament held on Monday, December 2 at the Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon.

The proceeds will be used to support the library’s operations, including new weekend and afterschool programming, updating the patio area and securing new books and materials.

“We are proud to support the Cabazon Library and all of the great programs and services it provides to children and adults in the surrounding community,” said Morongo Tribal Council Vice Chair James Siva. “The library is a vital asset to our region, and we want to thank all the golfers who took part in the tournament to help ensure this facility continues to thrive.”

Vice Chair Siva presented a check for $10,000 to Ted Conable, branch manager of the Cabazon Library, at a luncheon following the golf tournament.

“Morongo has always been a strong supporter of our library and the funds raised today will strengthen our programming and collection,” said Conable. “Having the support of our community is extremely important to our success and we truly appreciate all those who participated in the tournament.”

Opened in 2013 as part of the Riverside County Library System, the 7,000-square-foot Cabazon Library offers a spacious multi-purpose room for library programs and community events, a children’s corner, teen area, adult reading area, free Wi-Fi, and public internet computers.

Morongo Turkey Giveaway Helps Provide Over 225,000 Thanksgiving Meals

Volunteer Jason McFadden of Fountain of Life Temple Church in Banning helps package turkeys being donated by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
Volunteer Jason McFadden of Fountain of Life Temple Church in Banning helps package turkeys being donated by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.

The tribe increased the number of turkeys being given out to 12,500 for the 34th Annual Morongo Thanksgiving Outreach Program.

MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION – The Morongo Band of Mission Indians distributed 12,500 free turkeys this week to help provide holiday meals to families, seniors and veterans in need as part of the tribe’s 34th Annual Thanksgiving Outreach Program.

This year’s program will once again help nonprofit groups, churches and charities provide more than 225,000 holiday meals across Southern California. Recognizing the growing need across the region, the tribe increased the number of turkeys it donated this year by 25 percent over past years.

Since the program’s creation, Morongo has given away nearly 145,000 turkeys, which in turn have provided an estimated 2.75 million holiday meals.

“The roots of Morongo’s Thanksgiving Outreach program stretch back decades to a time when our tribe sought to help others even as we ourselves faced adversity,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin. “This year, we continue our legacy of giving by providing tens of thousands of holiday meals to those in need across the region.” 

Volunteers Isabella Schieffer, Curtis Gardner and Jackie Rankin of VFW Post 1508 in Wildomar help package some of the 12,500 turkey donated by Morongo.

On Nov. 18 and Nov. 19, dozens of tribal members and volunteers gathered at the Morongo Community Center to distribute the Thanksgiving turkeys to 114 nonprofit organizations such as churches, food pantries, schools, veteran groups and homeless shelters from across Southern California. Groups receiving turkeys hailed from Banning, Beaumont, Riverside, San Bernardino, Moreno Valley, Temecula, Indio, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Redlands, Los Angeles, and other communities.

The groups will use the turkeys to provide hot holiday meals to those in need or will distribute the birds in holiday food baskets with all the fixings to help feed thousands of people who would otherwise not be able to afford and enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.

Non-profit groups receiving turkeys ranged from the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission in Indio to the Los Angeles Rescue Mission, the Galilee Center in Mecca, the Western Eagle Foundation in Temecula, Victory Outreach Church in Banning, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Riverside, and many others.

Wendell Crawford, outreach pastor at Hope Unlimited Church in Banning, loads turkeys donated by Morongo.

“For years, our rescue mission has relied on the generosity of the Morongo tribe to help provide hope and hot meals to thousands in the Coachella Valley at Thanksgiving,” said Darla Burkett, executive director of the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, which received 400 turkeys from the tribe.

Pastor Victor Archuleta of Victory Outreach Church in Banning said the 200 turkeys being provided by Morongo will help struggling families who might not otherwise be able to share a Thanksgiving dinner.

“What a tremendous blessing it has been to have turkeys donated by Morongo every year. Having a reliable partner during the holidays gives our church and members hope as we serve families in our San Gorgonio Pass communities,” Archuleta said.

Hundreds of veterans and military families benefitted from the tribe’s Thanksgiving Outreach program, which provided more than 300 turkeys this year to local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other military support groups.

The Los Angeles Mission received 250 birds to help feed the homeless this holiday. Herb Smith, president of the Los Angeles Mission, said the Morongo donation will help feed those on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Brian and Caryn Chambers load 60 turkeys donated by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians to the First Missionary Baptist Church in Banning.

“Morongo has always stood by our community’s veterans and their families who have served our nation and sacrificed so much. Through our partnership, the Western Eagle Foundation will be to help military families share and enjoy holiday meals with their loved ones,” said Todd Sieja, president of the Western Eagle Foundation in Temecula.

“The Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ ongoing support of our programs have been critical in achieving our shared mission to provide comfort and dignity to homeless populations those in the greatest need. Because of the tribe’s continued giving, we can serve and bless thousands of homeless families and individuals again this year,” Smith said.

To receive turkeys, participating groups submitted applications to the tribe and were notified over the summer that they had been selected. For organizations interested in receiving turkeys next thanksgiving, applications for next year are due May 7th, 2020.

Morongo Awards $40,000 in College Scholarships to Native American Students

Morongo’s Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship has awarded more than $500,000 to Native American students, the most underrepresented group in higher education.

MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION –Four Native American students from across California have each received a $10,000 scholarship from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs as part of the 15th Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship Program.

Since the program’s launch, Morongo has awarded more than $500,000 to 53 Native American students attending universities across the nation. The scholarship program is open to enrolled members of any of the more than 100 federally recognized tribes in California.

“Morongo is proud to support the Rodney T. Matthews Jr. Scholarship in its mission to reverse the trends that have left Native Americans as the most underrepresented group in colleges and universities,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said. “In the past 15 years Morongo has been able to provide Native American students with more than a $500,000 in college scholarships.”

The 2019 recipients are:

  • Minda Streamer of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indiansis pursuing her A.M. in Clinical Social Work in the Trauma Responsive Program of Study at the University of Chicago. She currently interns at a child development center and charter school. She plans to return to her Native community and work as a health clinic counselor.

I am extremely appreciative of this scholarship and the Morongo community for awarding it to me,” said Streamer. “It is a tremendous help to be able to focus on my studies instead of worrying about whether I’ll be able to pay for rent or groceries.”  

  • Pectasan Qasil Feliz of the Yurok Tribeattends the University of Oregon where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: Early Child Development. She hopes to return to her tribe as a Child Psychologist to provide children with a resource who better understands them.

“I am really grateful to Morongo for this scholarship that is helping me to succeed in my studies. It is really encouraging knowing that someone outside of my small community cares about Native American students succeeding in higher education,” Feliz said.

  • Shayleena Britton of the Wailacki, Yuki Nomlacki Tribes is working towards her B.A. in 3D Animation at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Britton wants to use her animation and media skills to make a film about her reservation highlighting the Wailaki language, and to raise awareness of tribal culture and languages. She currently manages a Facebook page titled “Wailaki Kunnes Bakang Ishjii Naagai” to help give people access to the Wailaki language. “I want to thank the Morongo community for accepting me and providing me with this scholarship,” Britton said. “Paying for school has been the most difficult part of pursuing my degree, but thanks to Morongo I am able to continue pursuing my goal.”
  • William Feather of the Round Valley Indian Tribesis pursuing a Master of Social Work at Humboldt University. He currently works as the Inmate Services Coordinator at the Mendocino County Jail where he runs a social services program for the more than 300 inmates. He intends to pursue a doctorate and become a Native American Spiritual Leader for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“I’m so thankful to Morongo for helping me get closer to my dream,” Feather said. “Receiving this scholarship is helping me to continue my education and be a positive role model for my kids. I only hope that I can pay it forward one day.”

American Indians and Alaskan Natives comprise less than 1% of the nation’s college students, the lowest college enrollment rate of any ethnic group, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Similarly, only 15% of American Indians hold bachelor’s degrees, fewer than any ethnic group in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The scholarship program honors the late Rodney T. Mathews Jr., a Morongo tribal member and Hastings Law School graduate who passed away in 2004 after serving as a judge pro tem for more than a decade.

Scholarship applicants are considered based on their academic success and community service.  Candidates must be full-time students at an accredited college or university; complete 60 hours with a designated California Indian agency; and be actively involved in the Native American community.

Morongo’s Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship has awarded more than $500,000 to Native American students, the most underrepresented group in higher education.

MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION –Four Native American students from across California have each received a $10,000 scholarship from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs as part of the 15th Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship Program.

Since the program’s launch, Morongo has awarded more than $500,000 to 53 Native American students attending universities across the nation. The scholarship program is open to enrolled members of any of the more than 100 federally recognized tribes in California.

“Morongo is proud to support the Rodney T. Matthews Jr. Scholarship in its mission to reverse the trends that have left Native Americans as the most underrepresented group in colleges and universities,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said. “In the past 15 years Morongo has been able to provide Native American students with more than a $500,000 in college scholarships.”

The 2019 recipients are:

  • Minda Streamer of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indiansis pursuing her A.M. in Clinical Social Work in the Trauma Responsive Program of Study at the University of Chicago. She currently interns at a child development center and charter school. She plans to return to her Native community and work as a health clinic counselor.

I am extremely appreciative of this scholarship and the Morongo community for awarding it to me,” said Streamer. “It is a tremendous help to be able to focus on my studies instead of worrying about whether I’ll be able to pay for rent or groceries.”  

  • Pectasan Qasil Feliz of the Yurok Tribeattends the University of Oregon where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: Early Child Development. She hopes to return to her tribe as a Child Psychologist to provide children with a resource who better understands them.

“I am really grateful to Morongo for this scholarship that is helping me to succeed in my studies. It is really encouraging knowing that someone outside of my small community cares about Native American students succeeding in higher education,” Feliz said.

  • Shayleena Britton of the Wailacki, Yuki Nomlacki Tribes is working towards her B.A. in 3D Animation at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Britton wants to use her animation and media skills to make a film about her reservation highlighting the Wailaki language, and to raise awareness of tribal culture and languages. She currently manages a Facebook page titled “Wailaki Kunnes Bakang Ishjii Naagai” to help give people access to the Wailaki language. “I want to thank the Morongo community for accepting me and providing me with this scholarship,” Britton said. “Paying for school has been the most difficult part of pursuing my degree, but thanks to Morongo I am able to continue pursuing my goal.”
  • William Feather of the Round Valley Indian Tribesis pursuing a Master of Social Work at Humboldt University. He currently works as the Inmate Services Coordinator at the Mendocino County Jail where he runs a social services program for the more than 300 inmates. He intends to pursue a doctorate and become a Native American Spiritual Leader for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“I’m so thankful to Morongo for helping me get closer to my dream,” Feather said. “Receiving this scholarship is helping me to continue my education and be a positive role model for my kids. I only hope that I can pay it forward one day.”

American Indians and Alaskan Natives comprise less than 1% of the nation’s college students, the lowest college enrollment rate of any ethnic group, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Similarly, only 15% of American Indians hold bachelor’s degrees, fewer than any ethnic group in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The scholarship program honors the late Rodney T. Mathews Jr., a Morongo tribal member and Hastings Law School graduate who passed away in 2004 after serving as a judge pro tem for more than a decade.

Scholarship applicants are considered based on their academic success and community service.  Candidates must be full-time students at an accredited college or university; complete 60 hours with a designated California Indian agency; and be actively involved in the Native American community.

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