Indianz.Com > News > San Manuel Band donates $600,000 to Native American Rights Fund
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Native people gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in an Indian Child Welfare Act case on November 9, 2022. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
San Manuel Band donates $600,000 to Native American Rights Fund
Monday, February 13, 2023

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is donating $600,000 over two years to help the Native American Rights Fund support and protect tribal sovereignty.

The tribe’s donation will go to the Tribal Supreme Court Project, a joint initiative of NARF and the National Congress of American Indians. As part of the effort, tribes and their advocates work closely together to ensure tribal interests are represented in cases that go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We express gratitude to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for their ongoing support of the Tribal Supreme Court Project,” NARF Executive Director John Echohawk said in a news release on Monday. “Protecting tribal sovereignty is an all-hands-on-deck effort to ensure that Native American people can continue to live according to our cultures and traditions as we have for generations

“As an Indigenous people, we have made great strides to protect tribal sovereignty in the legal sector, but there is still much work to be done,” said Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena of the San Manuel Band. “The Tribe is committed to supporting the critical work of the Tribal Supreme Court Project to ensure that our tribal legal rights as well as our sovereign powers and authorities will continue well into the future.”

The Supreme Court’s current session started last October. Three Indian law cases are on the docket this term — all with serious implications for tribes and their inherent rights.

The San Manuel Band is based in southern California.

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