29 Palms Band of Mission Indians

Mailing Address

46-200 Harrison Place
Coachella, CA 92236




Cultural History

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians are a branch of the Chemehuevi Indians of the southern part of California. After struggling through the latter half of the nineteenth century, the tribe was given a 160-acre reservation by then-president Grover Cleveland in the Twentynine Palms area. Since that time, the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians have had both major hardships and successes while paving an interesting history.

Before they were bequeathed a reservation to live on, the tribe had found themselves in a rut. Lost in an area they could not call their own home, the tribe was forced to live testily among a rival tribe named the Mojaves. This existence exploded into a war between the two tribes that lasted three years and forced the then-Chemehuevi Indians westwards.

Although the tribe settled into the Twentynine Palms area in 1867, it wasn't until over two decades later that they were officially given land to call their own. And even after their reservation had been established, the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians faced a new hardship in 1908, as their children were forced to attend a distant boarding school by government officials.

A new and larger reservation, spanning six-hundred and forty acres, was created for the Chemehuevi Indians tribe as a whole in 1910. But the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, who had long established themselves as a separate and recognizable branch of the group, did not get any of this area for themselves until sixty-six years later! Only then was a good portion of the area, just under forty percent, anointed to the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians.

In the present day, the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians are prospering. Not only do they own their original reservation, given to them a century ago by Congress, but they also own the area of the Chemehuevi Indians given to them in 1976. Both lands have led to economic prosperity, thanks to the two casinos. The Spotlight 29 Casino, built in the latter area described above, was the first to be created in the middle of the 1990s.

More recently, the tribe has announced the construction of a new casino on their original 160-acre land. The California laws which had prevented such a casino from being built were overturned in 2000 by an amendment, paving the way for the construction of a new income producer for the tribe.

The Nuwu Casino Resort and RV Park is expected to help lead the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians into the twenty-first century and beyond. And with their proud history and useful assets, there is no question that prosperity is on the horizon for this long-standing tribe.

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