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On November 15, 2012, the City of Temecula and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians banded together to remove the threat of Granite Construction’s Quarry from the valley we all love when Pu’éska Mountain was reunited with its original Pechanga landowners. This year, the City of Temecula and Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians invite the public to share in a commemoration that marks the inaugural local holiday observance of Pechanga Pu’éska Mountain Day at Temecula’s Civic Center, on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
There will be an open House of Cultural Exhibits, activities and cultural exhibitions as the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians share their culture with the community including cultural exhibits, hands-on family friendly activities, a mobile museum, a Native American food tasting, and more!
The Pechanga Cultural Resources Department will be on hand to provide various cultural exhibits within the City’s Town Square, Quad and Conference Center including hands-on cultural activities and food samples. At 10:30am, at the front steps of City Hall, the program will renew and reaffirm the City’s Proclamation of Pechanga Pu’éska Mountain Day as a local holiday.
“Pechanga Pu’éska Mountain Day is a permanent reminder for future generations of a very special moment in the joint history of Temecula and Pechanga,” stated Council Member Chuck Washington. “It is an honor that the Tribe will be sharing and educating the community with their Native culture in the City’s Town Square.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Maryann Edwards noted that Pechanga Pu’éska Mountain Day commemorates a story that forever changed our community during the most contentious land development issue ever faced in Riverside County. “In the end, Pechanga reached out and protected all of Temecula, and history has come full circle in the form of this beautiful and sacred Pu’éska Mountain.” One of the Nation’s largest aggregate surface mines slated to destroy the Sacred Creation Area of all Luiseño Indians, and impose harmful quality of life impacts to its surrounding communities, was ultimately stopped by a historical agreement negotiated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.
“The City of Temecula proclaimed Pechanga Pu’éska Mountain Day as an official local holiday to show gratitude and respectfully recognize Temecula’s deeply rooted Native American culture of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians,” stated Mayor Mike Naggar. “It is our intention that this holiday be celebrated every year as part of the Pechanga and City culture for as long as City Hall stands. Our children, and our children’s children, will be telling this story!” Naggar added.
Council Member Jeff Comerchero noted, “What is meaningful and cherished is that this experience unified communities of people both tribal and no-tribal to work in unison, and that spirit continues to move us forward.”
City Council Member Ron Roberts concurred, “We are all intertwined within our community, and finding common ground is the key to our collective success. As the City Council’s Tribal Liaison for over 20 years, I’m very pleased that this local holiday will give the community time to pause and get to know the culture the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.”
“We appreciate this considerate declaration by the City of Temecula,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. “The struggle to protect our heritage and health served as yet another reminder that our histories – and our futures – are indeed interwoven. We look forward to commemorating this mutually important achievement as one community.”