Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Pala Band of Mission Indians advocates for missing and murdered Indigenous people

PALA – Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, joined other tribal leaders on Tuesday, May 2, at the California State Assembly to support May 2023 as “Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Awareness Month.”

“On behalf of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, we thank California Assemblyman James Ramos for helping to bring awareness to this terrible epidemic that is greatly affecting the indigenous population,” said Chairman Smith. “Shedding light on the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous people throughout California and the United States is an important step in the right direction to generate change.”

For generations, Indigenous persons have struggled with high rates of assault, abduction, and murder of women. In 2016, 5,712 missing and murdered indigenous cases were reported to the National Crime Information Center. Homicide is the third leading cause of death for indigenous women between the ages of 15 and 24, and indigenous women face murder rates 10 times higher than the national average.

“California has the largest population of American Indians, and the sixth-highest death rate of indigenous women in urban cities,” said Chairman Smith. “We will continue to advocate for this vulnerable population and fight to bring them the justice they deserve.”

The Pala Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized tribe whose reservation is located along the Palomar Mountain range approximately 30 miles northeast of San Diego. The majority of the over 900 tribal members live on the 12,000-acre reservation, established for Cupeño and Luiseño Indians, who consider themselves to be one proud people - Pala.

 

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