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The Juaneno Indians


Tribal Newsletter

They are called the Acjachemem, however in the Social Science literature they are referred to as Juaneņos, San Juaneņos or Mission Indians. TheirAcjachemem homeland is in coastal southern California and includes the valleys, canyons, hillsides, rivers and shorelines where we have lived since the Beginning. Their traditional homeland spanned roughly from Laguna Beach to San Onofre. The San Juan Capistrano valley is the core area of their community, though they traditionally have many widespread village communities. Traditionally, in the fall they would travel to the mountains above Elsinore to hunt deer, gather acorns, grasses and medicinal herbs. Additionally, their territory was known for abundant oak groves and abalone from the rocky shores which they traded far inland. When the Spanish occupied their land in the late 1770's they brought ecological and social catastrophe in the form of over-grazing of our food crops by livestock, unknown diseases, and massive social disruption. They became forced laborers at the Mission San Juan Capistrano religious and ranching operations. Today they are going through an active cultural and political resurgence including language restoration and historical research. Also, their basketweaving, songs and dances are coming back to them through active community participation.

A Pow Wow is a gathering for social interaction. they traditionally have been sed for family gatherings and have grown to intertribal and now some are even internation in nature. The term Pow Wow is a relatively new term and you may hear of different names for the same events. There are gatherings for cultural events only, prayer, spiritual or what ever the reason people want to gather for. Our Pow Wow is intertribal and is a social gathering to bring different tribes together for song and dance. The main purpose is to raise money for the tribal government.

There are about 245 federally non-recognized tribes, most of whom are petitioning for federal recognition. The Juaneno Indian Tribe is among the 245 non-federally recognized tribes. To learn more, click on the following link.