Soboba Band of Mission Indians

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 487
San Jacinto, CA 92581



Cultural History

The Soboba Band of Mission Indians is the group of the first Native Americans who inhabited the coastal area of Southern California upon contacts with the Spanish during the sixteenth century. They inhabited the southern part of Los Angeles County even up to San Diego. 

Around 1774 to 1775, Friar Pedro Font made the first contact and recorded the first encounter with the Soboba Band of Mission Indians. He was a member of the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition. A brief description of the tribe was journalized when Anza’s expedition passed through Hemet/San Jacinto Valley. He was then following native trails in an attempt to set up another route for his trade explorations.

Later on, during the eighteenth century, the Sobaba came under mission as influenced by the occupation of the Mexicans. In 1776, the Mission San Juan Capistrano was established near the Hemet/ San Jacinto Valley. Another Mission followed upon the establishment of Mission San Luis Rey in 1798.

In compliance with an Executive Order, the Sobaba Indian Reservation was declared allotting 3,172.03 acres of land for their permanent residence. The reservation is located at the foothills of San Jacinto’s mountain range. The reservation is likewise characterized by slopes, deep ravines and rolling hills from the western foothills of the said mountain. The reservation extends up to the upper San Jacinto River Basin of the Riverside County located in Southern California. Their reservation lies 1,600 feet above sea level. The San Jacinto River borders the west boundary.  The northeastern and southern portions of the reservation climb up to more or less 2,600 feet.

One of their legendary leaders was Vitoriano Kwe-vish. He was elected captain in the village of Sobaba along the foothills of San Jacinto/Hemet Valley. It was him who signed the Treaty of 1852, also known as the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the local Indians and the Federal Government. The treaty was singed in the Village of Temacula together with other tribal leaders. Victoriano is one of the most celebrated leaders because of his ability to lead his people towards goodness. He was more than just a tribal leader for he was also a spiritual leader. He died at the age of 120 in the year 1888. An additional Country Club and Cultural Center were built years later and are in full operation today. There are about 900active members of this tribe today.

In the year 1992, the Noli Indian School made history by becoming the first ever tribal middle school in the whole of California. Several students from different reservations gather here for quality education. The extracurricular activities in this school include a number of sports like gold, basketball, baseball and even softball.

The Sobaba culture has grown far different today from what it used to be centuries ago. Today, it operates the Sobaba Casino, one of biggest Indian-operated casinos having 2,000 slot machines, more than 20 game tables and 12,000 seating capacity of an entertainment pavilion. This casino was opened in 1995 and soon became famous for its gaming facilities. Several events are held here every year including the annual Sobaba Indian Pow Wow and the King of the Cage fights. 

In 2001, another tribally run school was established and this time was a pre-school. Students aged 3-4 years old are admitted and taught their first lessons such as reading and writing, identifying colors and the likes. 

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