Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I was sent an article for consideration and asked if I would post it to the blog.  I decided I would.

The views, facts, and opinions expressed in the article below are strictly the views of  the [ANONYMOUS] author.  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the [ANONYMOUS]  author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pala Watch.


*** By Anonymous ***

     On January 5, 1852, the United States took over California from the Spaniards and the
Temecula Treaty was signed by Indians in Southern California creating a government to
government relationship.

     The Treaty was signed separately by Palino Coo-hac-ish (for Old Pala) and Jose Noca
Chan-gah-lang-ish (for Agua Caliente).

     On December 27, 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant created, by executive order, 320
acres, located on the south side of the San Luis Rey River, for a reservation for the Old Pala
Luiseno tribe. At the same time he also created 960 acres for a reservation in Warner Springs for
the Agua Caliente tribe. This would become their ancestral homeland. Both reservations were
intended for permanent use and occupancy.


     Between 1891 and 1895, Old Pala made/gave allotments to its 15 adult members. Their
children were never allotted land but were still considered members of Old Pala.

     Old Pala is referred to as the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians. The Luiseno Band is
NOT a tribe. This name only recognizes them as Indians in the San Luis Rey Mission District.
They may be a band from the Kumeyaay.

     Old Pala is a reservation that never had any form of government or a tribal committee.
Robert Ardilla would act as Captain or Spokesman.

     After the 1903 arrival of Agua Caliente (Cupa) to the Pala Valley, many problems arose
between them and Old Pala.

     Shortly after their (Agua Caliente) arrival there was a death within their tribe. Old Pala
would not allow Agua Caliente (Cupa) to bury the dead in the cemetery next to the Old Pala
Mission. This prompted the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe to create their own cemetery called the
Cupa Cemetery.

     Another problem arose when members from Old Pala would deliberately let their
livestock destroy the crops of the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe. There was also an irrigation
schedule which allowed a specified amount oftime and water to be given to each crop grower.
Members from Old Pala would open the water valves at any time. This would limit the water
given to next crop grower cutting their time/water short and created a domino effect down the

     In 1934, a secretarial election was held in Pala Valley with the purpose of joining Old
Pala and Agua Caliente (Cupa). This was voted down by both sides, leaving each one
independent from the other.

     In a letter to the BIA, dated March 4, 1940, Marion Scott requested to become a member
of the Rincon Reservation. She was denied because of her membership to Old Pala.
Sometime in the late 1940's or early l 950's, she (Marion Scott) requested to be enrolled
in the Agua Caliente (Cupa) rolls. The Cupa members did not want to let her in. But, after the
third request she was voted in, along with her whole family which would include Robert Ardilla.

     This should have never taken place and it was wrong for the Chairman to allow it. There
was no way for Marion to show she was a direct descendant of Cupa (Agua Caliente) and
according to the Articles of Association (for Agua Caliente) this was a requirement to be enrolled.

     BIA records from March 7, 1940 show that Marion Scott is an enrolled from Old Pala.
Since members cannot be enrolled in two different places does this mean she and Robert Ardilla
must relinquish their allotments to the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe? And, if so, would Agua
Caliente (Cupa) then have complete control of their allotments?


     On January 5, 1852, Jose Noca Chan-gah-lang-ish signed the Temecula Treaty. This created a
government to government relationship between the Agua Caliente (Cupa) Tribe and the United States.

     On December 27, 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant created, by executive order, 960 acres for a
reservation for the Agua Caliente tribe to live on as their ancestral homeland.

     Long before their removal to Pala, the Agua Caliente (Cupa) people have existed since prehistory
as an historic tribe and are not Mission Indians. They occupied their traditional homeland at Warner
Springs since the time of their creation.

     Five years after President Grant set aside their reservation lands at Warner Springs, President
Rutherford B. Hayes revoked this. This land revocation lead to the removal from Warner's Ranch.

     There were many sites considered when deciding where to send the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe: Rancho Santa Margarita (Camp Pendleton), Panky Ranch and Pala. Because Pala had a mission and the Agua Caliente Tribe had a small chapel near Warner's, Pala Valley was chosen.

     Over 700 acres were purchased from ranchers in the Pala Valley for the removal and placement
of the Agua Caliente tribe.

     When the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe arrived in Pala in 1903 they were put in tents until the prefabricated homes would arrive. These homes came from New York, traveling around the Cape to San Diego and eventually make their way by wagon to Pala.

     Pala was set up like the village at Warner Springs. The head of each household was given an allotment for a home, 1.75-2 acres on the irrigation system, and 5-6 acres of land for dry farming.

     One question arises: Why did their (Agua Caliente) tribal name not come with them? They
became referred to as Pala Band, Pala Band of Mission Indians or Pala Band of Luiseno Indians.

     Why are we referred to as Pala Band of Mission Indians (PBMI)? If Robert Smith can make this
change, why not change it to Agua Caliente Indian Reservation like it was when they were moved from Warners? And furthermore, why is Robert being referred to as Chairman of the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians? He has no authority to be their spokesman.

     Remember, Agua Caliente was a recognized tribe, not a band. How do they lose their tribal name
simply from moving from one location to another? If it's that simple to rename the tribe PBMI it should be just as simple to give them their correct name back. Pala Band of Mission Indians is not a tribe.

     About two weeks after Agua Caliente's arrival, the people from Puerta la Cruz and San Felipe,
who had originally refused to leave the Warner Springs area, were moved to Pala by way of horse and
wagon owned by Remijio Lugo.

     Remijio Lugo was also put on the Cupa rolls. This would also be a mistake. He claims he was
born in Sulfer Springs, Cahuilla and is a member of Morongo. He would also not be able to show his
direct descent from Agua Caliente (Cupa), which is a requirement for enrollment with them.

     This brief history explains why we all hear that this family or that family do not belong on the

     There are many members that serve the tribe that need to understand their history. It may upset a
lot of people but it is something that should be known.