ABOUT THE MESA GRANDE BAND OF MISSION INDIANS
The current citizens of the Mesa Grande Band of (Diegueno) Mission Indians are direct descendants of the original aboriginal peoples, the Iipay or Northern Kumeyaay, who occupied the area that is now northern San Diego County since time immemorial. Archaeologists have confirmed that our ancestors have occupied the region for at least 12,000 years. For historical context, this means that the ancestors of today’s Mesa Grande people lived here 7,000 years before the Pharaohs began ruling ancient Egypt.
In 1875, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant issued an executive order establishing reservations for several Iipay Bands, including Mesa Grande. The establishment of reservation boundaries was not easy, since most Native people had been forced out of the areas they considered home. Subsequent executive orders in 1883 and 1891 expanded the Mesa Grande reservation to its present area. Many mistakes were made as the U.S. federal government somewhat arbitrarily decided how land would be allocated among the Native peoples. The Mesa Grande Band is still engaged in a land dispute with the federal government to reclaim improperly patented lands that have always been occupied by Mesa Grande families.
More information about the history, government and activities of the Mesa Grande Band is available on the Band's official website.