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

Public Notice – Water Quality Standards Adoption

This notice is to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians (Tribe) Water Quality Standards. In April 2018, the Tribe was authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), to administer water quality standards and certification programs under the Clean Water Act for all waters within the exterior boundaries of the Tribe’s Reservation or otherwise subject to the Tribe’s jurisdiction.

Background

The Tribe’s Environmental Protection Department worked closely with the U.S. EPA to develop Water Quality Standards. These standards will be adopted through incorporation into the Tribe’s Ordinance 39 Surface Water Quality Protection Ordinance. This Ordinance was approved by Tribal Council on March 15, 2018. The purpose of this Ordinance is to carry out the provisions of the Morongo Environmental Protection Ordinance, Section IV(C)(1), to protect surface water quality on the Reservation. Carrying out this purpose includes, among other things, protecting the health, safety and welfare of Tribal members and all other persons within the boundaries of the Reservation; preventing the deterioration of water quality and other natural resources resulting from surface water pollution; and protecting the cultural, social and economic stability of the Reservation.

Per the Water Quality Standards Regulation at 40 CFR 131, the Tribe is required to hold a public hearing to solicit public input on these Water Quality Standards prior to submission for U.S. EPA approval.

Public Comment Opportunity

The Tribe is formally soliciting public input on Water Quality Standards prior to formal tribal adoption and U.S. EPA submittal of the current document. Ordinance 39 Surface Water Quality Protection Ordinance with incorporated Water Quality Standards may be viewed at https://morongonation.org/environmental/tribal-water/. You may also request a copy by contacting the Environmental Protection Department Tribal Water Program at [email protected] or (951) 755-5197.

Comments may be sent by email to [email protected] with the subject “WQS Comment Letter” or by mail to:

Morongo Band of Mission Indians
Environmental Protection Department
12700 Pumarra Road
Banning, CA 92220

Comments will be accepted through November 26, 2021.

Public Hearing

A public hearing will be held on Wednesday October 27, 2021, 6:30 p.m. at the following address:

Morongo Band of Mission Indians
Community Center
13000 Malki Road
Banning, CA 92220

At the public hearing, commenters will be given an opportunity to make oral comments or to summarize previously submitted written materials. If you would like to provide oral comments, please submit your name to [email protected] with the subject “WQS Hearing Speaker.”

If you will need accessibility accommodations at the hearing, please contact the Environmental Protection Department Tribal Water Program at [email protected] or (951) 755-5197.

If deemed appropriate, the planned Oct. 27, 2021 public hearing may be converted into a virtual meeting in response to COVID-19. If this occurs, an advance notice and link to participate in the virtual meeting will be posted on the Morongo website at https://morongonation.org/environmental/tribal-water/.

Weekly Update – I-10 Tune Up Pavement Rehab


Work continues for the I-10 Tune Up, Pavement Rehabilitation project. Please note, this schedule is subject to change. For the latest, visit the I-10 Tune Up page at https://i10tuneup.com/.

RIVERSIDE, CA – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is continuing construction on Interstate 10 (I-10) from Beaumont to State Route 111 (SR-111). The following information is for the week of September 12 to 17, weather dependent:

During daytime work hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, construction crews will continue electrical work and perform roadway excavation, joint seal improvements and shoulder pavement operations going both directions from 8th St in Banning to SR-111.

Alternating lane and ramp closures will occur during nighttime work hours, from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., Sunday through Thursday:Demolition, paving, joint seal operations and grinding going both directions for entire project length.Install k-rail and construction signs from Beaumont Ave to Hargrave going eastbound.Remove existing k-rail going westbound from 8th St to Main St.
Crews have been moving into the next crossover in Segment 1, which will occur going eastbound from east of Beaumont Ave in Beaumont to Hargrave in Banning. The current crossover (from 8th St to Main St) is being removed, and lanes will open as normal, with some width restrictions. This new crossover is anticipated to be in place by mid-September. Motorists should anticipate a new traffic shift in the area to accommodate the crossover.

Due to the fuel spill incident that occurred on Wednesday, September 1, the eastbound Hargrave onramp will be closed until further notice. The eastbound 8th St and Ramsey St onramps may also be closed on an as needed basis.

The following are anticipated 10-day ramp closures. During these 10-day closures, the ramps will be improved. Closures will begin during nighttime work hours and reopen at the end of the night shift:WB Morongo Trail offramp is anticipated to close September 7 and reopen September 18. Commuters should use Main St or Malki as a detour WB Ramsey offramp is anticipated to close September 13 and reopen September 24. Commuters should use 8th St as a detour. WB Malki offramp is anticipated to close September 19 and reopen September 30. Commuters shoulder use Morongo Trail or Main St as a detour. WB Morongo Trail onramp is anticipated to close September 19 and reopen September 30. Commuters should use Main St or Malki as a detour. WB Fields Rd offramp is anticipated to close September 19 and reopen September 30.
This schedule is subject to change and is weather dependent. Know before you go! To stay on top of roadwork in the Inland Empire go to Caltrans District 8 and sign up for commuter alerts. Follow us for the latest information on Facebook and Twitter. To assist in planning your commute, view live traffic conditions using QuickMap and planned lane closures.

For those with sensory disabilities requiring alternate formats (i.e. Braille, large print, sign language interpreter, etc.) and those needing information in a language other than English, please contact Public Affairs at 909-383-4631 or TTY 711.

Morongo Awards $20,000 in Scholarships to Two Native American Students

The Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship has awarded more than $525,000 to Native American students, the most underrepresented group in higher education.

MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION – Two Native American students from California have each received a $10,000 scholarship from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs as part of the 16th Annual Rodney T. Mathews Jr. Scholarship Program.

Since its launch, Morongo’s program has awarded more than $525,000 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 offer the Rodney T. Matthews Jr. Scholarship to help reverse the trends that have left Native Americans as the most underrepresented group in colleges and universities,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin said. “We look forward to this annual opportunity to support outstanding Native American students as they pursue a higher education to improve themselves and the future of their tribal communities.”

The 2021 recipients are:

  • Britney Vargas of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel is pursuing a B.A. in Elementary Education at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.  The recent graduate of Julian High School in San Diego County served as Native American Club Secretary, was a three-sport athlete and class secretary. Ms. Vargas also holds the title of Miss Julian 2020-2021 and was the previous Teen Miss Julian. She has logged over 650 in volunteer community hours during high school. Her goal is to develop a curriculum that teaches Native American culture to elementary school students in hopes of preserving Native American heritage for future generations.

“I think it’s absolutely amazing that the Morongo Band of Mission Indians does this for kids like me and other kids who struggle financially,” Vargas said. “I am just so grateful that I even had the opportunity to apply for the scholarship. This will help me pay for my books, meal plan and a dorm room, and allow me to focus on my studies.”

  • Sasheen Shailee Colegrove Raymond of the Hoopa Valley and Yurok Tribes is working towards her PhD. in Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University. She currently works at Humboldt State University’s Social Work Department where she assists rural and indigenous communities. She also helps Native American students navigate the educational system and cultivates relationships with local tribal agencies to increase internship placements. Through her studies, she plans to continue to conduct research and data collection to assist Tribal communities and inform policy decisions.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and that Morongo continues to support the Native community and Indian country because ultimately I feel it’s an important piece for all of us to be able to contribute back to our communities,” Raymond said. “This scholarship lifts such a huge burden off my shoulders, and I am truly thankful from the bottom of my heart.”

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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