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

Apache chief wants to hold pow wow in Fallbrook

Lucette Moramarco

Associate Editor

While most of the Native Americans living in the Fallbrook area are Luiseno, there are about a dozen Apache Indians, including one of their chiefs. Fallbrook resident Angel Sanchez Reyes is a chief of the N'de (The People's) Apache Tribe and a great-great-grandson of Geronimo of the Bedonkohes clan.

Reyes said he is planning the pow wow for two to three years from now as that is how long it will take to raise the money to host the event, about $65,000. He moved to Fallbrook four years ago and is developing a working relationship with the other tribes in the area.

Among the tribes to be invited to the pow wow are those from Soboba, San Miguel, Pechanga and Pala as well as tribes from Arizona and New Mexico. There will be cultural activities like bird singing and dancing along with vendor booths, all to bring people together. All are welcome from wherever they are, Indian or not, Reyes said.

He is originally from New Mexico and grew up in Whittier, California. His background includes being a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army, from 1973 to 1980, and owning horses. He bought the ranch in unincorporated Riverside County in 2005 and named it White Mountain Ranch and Resort. There were over 300 horses and a quarter-mile track at the ranch.

Reyes was forced to sell the ranch in 2018 after the zoning was changed so that horses were not allowed in that area anymore. He had relatives in Fallbrook and, on a visit to one of them, discovered an old adobe house that was falling apart. After three years of rebuilding and renovating, the house on East Alvarado Street became not just his home but also the headquarters for his tribe, he said.

He was an ambassador for the West Coast part of the tribe when then chief, Louis Vasquez in New Mexico, assigned him to be chief over all the tribe with Vasquez as second chief. Reyes oversees his members in California, Oregon, Washington and Canada while Vasquez looks after those in Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

Locally, Reyes said there are about 12 Apaches living in Fallbrook, including him and his wife. The others include the family that owns Fallbrook Stereo and the owner of Eagle Eye Fabrication and his wife. David Trujillo, an Apache from Colorado, owns and runs House of Pain, a boxing gym in Temecula. Reyes supports fundraisers for the gym's programs for native children which include football, softball and soccer.

Here in Fallbrook, Reyes has been involved in the community as a volunteer for various groups including the Fallbrook Food Pantry, the Knights of Columbus and St. Peter Thrift Store. "Finding Fallbrook is the best thing that happened to me in my life," Reyes said.

He also said he and his wife "try to help all people, to involve ourselves with the whole next to each other, to co-exist, is a community effort." While a pow wow is "typically just native," Reyes said, he wants to "invite local residents to participate with booths," and he hopes to do it every other year.

For more information or to donate, call Reyes at 562-896-6777 or email him at [email protected].


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