The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized Native American tribe located in Southern California. They are descendants of the Chemehuevi people, a peaceful and nomadic Tribe whose territory once covered parts of California, Utah, Arizona, and Southern Nevada. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band settled at the sacred site known as the Oasis of Mara, located near the town of Twentynine Palms, California. With the European occupation of the West, many Tribal members were relocated to the Coachella Valley and Banning Pass areas. The Twenty-Nine Palms Reservation was established by the Executive Order of 1895 in Twentynine Palms. The Reservation was expanded in 1979 with an additional parcel in Coachella, California.
Today, the Tribe has established business enterprises and governmental operations on its sovereign lands, with Spotlight 29 Casino and the Tribal Government Offices near the city of Coachella, and Tortoise Rock Casino near the town of Twentynine Palms. The Tribe provides employment to over 700 people, contributes to the community through charitable contributions, and supports the Tribe’s government operations and programs. The Tribal Administration manages all the tribal affairs and general welfare programs for the tribal membership. The Tribe has obtained several federal grants and has demonstrated its capability in managing programs that support its infrastructure.
The Tribe has an established Tribal Council which is the elected governing body that oversees the governmental operations and business enterprise. General elections are held every two years for each member of the Tribal Council and Tribal Chairman position. The Tribe considers consistency and stability in leadership an essential piece of maintaining a forward direction. The Tribe has a strong relationship with the California Desert, particularly in the Twentynine Palms area including the Joshua Tree National Park. The Tribe sponsors and partners with entities that promote land conservation, protection of sacred lands, to support descendants of the Chemehuevi, Desert Cahuilla, and Southern Paiute lineages in California and beyond.