Ernie Salgado Jr. is currently seeking funding for a Mission Indian Federation documentary project, including a request for access to document your MIF papers, photographs, artifacts and oral historical accounts to organize and preserve them. Please contact Ernie for more info.
MISSION INDIAN FEDERATION
The Mission Indian Federation (MIF) was Southern California's most popular and long-lived grass-roots political organization.
Between 1919 and 1965, its membership wrestled with some of the most difficult political and legal questions of the 20th century.
The MIF asserted rights to internal sovereignty, rejecting the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) paternalism. The MIF's clashes with the federal government's BIA employees in the Mission Indian Agency (MIA) continually had its members in court, but occasionally confrontations turned violent.
In 1934, Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier described the MIF's aspirations toward sovereignty saying the organization "resisted the work of the Indian service in the spirit of ousting a foreign power from the native soil or beating off an invasion of a foreign power."
Drawing its membership from reservation and non-reservation California Indians of Southern California, the MIF could best be described as a quasi-governmental, pan-Indian organization purporting to represent the collective will of Southern California's reservation people....
The MIF's purpose was to end Mission Indian Agency abuse and paternalism and to bring equal rights, justice, and "home rule" for Southern California's Indians....
-Above excerpts: SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES University of California, Irvine (please click HERE for for more detailed facts, personal accounts and historical information about the Mission Indian Federation MIF).
Above Riverside County historical photo pictures a group of the Mission Indian Federation members in front of the Mission Inn, Riverside, CA., 1908 picture.
JONATHAN TIBBET, Founder
JONATHAN TIBBET JR. was born January 5, 1856 on his father's ranch in the vicinity of San Gabriel...Tibbet's youth was spent tending cattle and horses and learning from the Indians of the area. Tibbet was taught their languages and eventually came to speak 11 dialects along with fluent Spanish. As a young man he served as a scout and the chief of scouts for the U.S. Army....
- -Excerpts from a biography by Richard A. Hanks
Jonathan Tibbet held meetings and conferences at his residence in Riverside, California, as pictured in these vintage 1900s California Indian historical photographs.
PRESIDENT ADAM CASTILLO
One of the most revered presidents of the MIF was President Adam Castillo, a well-known Cahuilla Indian activist. Adam Castillo also served as the chairman of Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, Soboba Indian Reservation near San Jacinto, CALIF.
From the early 1900’s the Mission Indian Federation, under the leadership of Adam Castillo, until his death in 1953, was the compelling influence in the redressing of economic, political, and legal grievances of the American Indian people. Mr. Castillo also served as the Tribal Chairman for the Soboba Band of Mission Indians. (In 2003 the tribe changed its name to the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, as did many other tribes, dropping the word “Mission”).
The Mission Indian Federation under the leadership of Mr. Castillo successfully challenged the United States Government and won some very major political victories. The first was the dismissal of charges against 57 members of the Mission Indian Federation for “Conspiracy against the U.S. Government” by the U.S. District Courts in Los Angeles, California in 1923. The Government’s contention was that the 57 members of the Mission Indian Federation were promoting “Bolshevistic Doctrines”.
DOWNLOAD HIGH RESOLUTION POSTER MISSION INDIAN FEDERATION 1920 historical photo by Avery Edwin Field, courtesy of Ben Magante, Pauma Yuima Band of Mission Indians, photo by Avery Edwin Field. Original CALIE MIF poster 24x48".
INDIANS COULD NOT BE US CITIZENS UNTIL 1924
Many Native American Indians could not become United States citizens until 1924 — Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 — the members of the Mission Indian Federation helped influence that change.
MIF members also pursued many other unfair local, state and federal policies that discriminated against Indigenous Americans, including hard-fought tribal sovereignty issues, and securing Indian rights promised under the 18 Unratified Treaties of 1851-1852 Between the California Indians and the United States Government, said Ernie Salgado Jr., Soboba tribal member and executive director of Ahmium Education, Inc.
AMERICAN TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY — American tribes practiced their own forms of government for thousands of years before European intrusion and the formation of the United States government. The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court, federal and state laws, as well as historical treaties all support the tribes' present-day legal rights to self-government and certain forms of tribal sovereignty....
LINKS to facts, historical pictures, information for research about the Mission Indian Federation
OFFICIAL SITE: www.missionindianfederation.com
History, Biography, Conference
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES University of California, Irvine
General Description, Mission and Ideology, Membership and Organizational Structure, The Appeal of the MIF
RIVERSIDE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM
Indian Posters & Documents, Antique Historical Pictures
Page under creation by webmaster, established 1/26/09, last worked on 1/28/09
Please CONTACT the webmaster to contribute articles or links for publication.
Back to CALIE Native American Veterans page.