Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indian Nation

Mailing Address

1 Viejas Grade Road
Alpine, CA 91901

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians are living on a reservation which measures 1,63o acres in the Viejas Valley which is located on the east of the community of Alpine in San Diego County, California. They are one of the twelve bands of the Kumeyaay Indian Nation who are still alive right now. Viejas Band is considered as a sovereign government by the United States. That means that they have to maintain a government-government relationship or side by side.  

On the one hand, the Kumeyaay, which is called Diegueño by the Spanish, were the original people who live in San Diego County. They are also called the Yuman-speaking people of Hokan Stock. For more than 10,000 years, they are continually living in this place. It is said in the history that the Kumeyaay were horticulturists and hunter-gatherer people. In the area, they were the only Yuman group who greeted the Spanish as they sailed into San Diego Harbor together with the Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo expedition of 1542. 

There had been changes with the boundaries of the Kumeyaay lands when the European arrived. It has been extended once from the Pacific Ocean, south to Ensenada in Baja Norte, Mexico, east to the sand dunes of the Colorado River in Imperial Valley and north to Warner Springs Valley. North to northeast and the Indian nations bounded their territory. The Indian Nations were the San Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla.  

Nowadays, 12 bands separate the tribal members. The 12 bands are the Barona, Campo, Ewiiaapaayp, Inaja-Cosmit, Jamul, LaPosta, Manzanita, Mesa Grande, San Pasqual, Santa Ysabel, Sycuan and Viejas. Kumeyaay governments are one of the largest owners of land in San Diego County. Their jurisdiction is focused in East County from El Cajon, Lakeside, Poway and Ramona, to the desert. It covers over 70,000 acres. There are more than 15,000 acres that cannot be used by the Kumeyaay because the El Capitan Reservoir was terminated from the ownership of the Indian Government. This reservoir actually gives benefits to the San Diego River east of Lakeside. It is placed within the Capitan Grande Indian Reservation.  

The hunters in the society of Kumeyaay are the men. They hunt rabbits, quails and deer in particular. They are also making arrows, bows, fishhooks, axes, etc. which are used in hunting. On the other hand, the women make pottery, baskets, clothing and they are the ones who create shelter depending on the environment. They are also applying animal husbandry. They are engaged in their agricultural businesses because that is where they get their food. The cultivation of soil comes in a seasonal basis. Aside from that, they are also participating in the protection of their environment. They are controlling the erosion with the use of their system. They also have their water management program that helps them to maintain ground water that is close to valley surfaces.  

Their community thinks of different ways to preserve their culture and tradition. They do this so that their family will not suffer due to problems in the future. The attitude of this tribe helps them to become a better community of people.