San Manuel splits $1m donation across ten native-led organisations

Las Vegas Palms Casino Resort, San Manuel.

A $1m donation has been made to a total of ten native-led organisations by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which it is said has been done “to close the gap amongst marginalised non-profits”.

This was undertaken on GivingTuesday, historically the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and is labelled as the largest day of philanthropic giving every year.

However, regarding its maintained charitable donation efforts, San Manuel said in a media release: “In 2021, a total of $3bn dollars was donated to nonprofits in the United States on a single day. 

“However, only 0.4 per cent of the nation’s overall giving efforts benefit Native American non-profits. San Manuel’s donations are key to help bridge that gap and bring awareness to these outstanding organisations serving Indian country.”

In ts latest efforts, the tribe donated $100,000 to each of the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, National Indian Child Welfare Association, Great Plains Veterans Services, Notah Begay III Foundation, Inter-Tribal Sports, Native Hope, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, HIR Wellness and Mother Nation. 

Despite this move, Lynn Valbuena, Chair of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, emphasised that “there is a great deal of work left to be done in Indian country to ensure native communities around the nation have the resources they need to thrive for generations to come”.

Adding: “Indian Country deserves to have access to every resource needed to build thriving nations and San Manuel is dedicated to providing as much support as we can for our people to continue to recover and thrive following atrocities we have faced. 

“Following 30-plus years of operating a successful gaming business, we are blessed to share our success with hundreds of nonprofits over the last three decades.”

The tribe said that it chose the nonprofits based on their dedication to fighting injustices plaguing native nations, as well as those supporting Native Americans and advocating on important issues.

“The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians generous grant to NICWA directly supports our work protecting the Indian Child Welfare Act in the courts, through federal and state policy, and through public education and the media,” stated Sarah Kastelic, Executive Director of NICWA.

“This gift is significant for Indian country and enables us to keep children connected to their family, community and culture.”