July 14, 2012

Campo Kumeyaay Nation


The Campo Kumeyaay Nation is a federally recognized tribe in California. They were formerly known as the Campo Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Campo Indian Reservation. The Kumeyaay Nation once ecompassed the lands from northern San Diego county to the dunes of the Imperial Valley and south beyond Ensenada, Mexico.

Official Tribal Name: Campo Kumeyaay Nation

Address: 36190 Church Road, Campo, CA 91906
Phone: (619) 478-9046
Fax:  (619) 478-5818
Email: info@campo-nsn.gov

Official Website: http://www.campo-nsn.gov

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

 Inaja Band – Inaja means “the people.”
 Kumeyaay – meaning not known.

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Campo Kumeyaay Nation is what this tribe calls itself today.

Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Misspellings:

Formerly known as the Campo Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Campo Indian Reservation
Campo Band of Kumeyaay Indians
Diegueno Indians
Mission Indians
Kumiai, Campi

Name in other languages:

Diegueno is the Spanish name for the Ipai–Kumeyaay–Tipai, now often referred to collectively as Kumeyaay.
Mexican Spelling – Kumiai.

Region: California

State(s) Today: California

Traditional Territory:

The Kumeyaay Nation once ecompassed the lands from northern San Diego county to the dunes of the Imperial Valley and south beyond Ensenada, Mexico.

Confederacy: Kumeyaay – One of 13 bands that make up this tribe.


Reservations: Campo Indian Reservation

The Campo Indian Reservation is located in southeastern San Diego County atop the Laguna Mountains. The reservation was established on 710 acres on February 10, 1893, following an Executive Order on January 12, 1891. Eighty acres were added on February 2, 1907, and 13,610 acres were added on December 14, 1911. Later additions brought the reservation to its current size. All land on Campo is tribal-owned land; there are presently no allotments or assignments. 
Land Area:  15,010 acres (60.7 km2)
Tribal Headquarters:  Campo, CA
Time Zone:  Pacific

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


The tribe is organized under a non-IRA Constitution that established a legislative branch, an executive branch, and a judicial branch.

Charter: The tribal constitution was ratified on July 13, 1975, which established a governing council consisting of all band members aged 18 or over.
Name of Governing Body:  Tribal Council
Number of Council members:   7, including the executive officers.
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Number of Executive Officers:  Includes a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, and treasurer.


Officers serve four-year terms. The executive committee serves as the overall economic development plan committee as well. The judicial branch represents the tribe in matters involving the BIA, the federal and state courts, and the tribal environmental court. 

Language Classification: Hokan -> Yuman–Cochimí -> Delta–California -> Kumeyaay (AKA Southern Diegueño, Campo, Kamia)

Language Dialects: Campo, Ipai 

Number of fluent Speakers:

Hinton (1994:28) suggested a conservative estimate of 50 surviving Kumeyaay speakers. A more liberal estimate (including speakers of Ipai and Tipai), supported by the results of the Census 2000, is 110 people in the US, including 15 persons under the age of eighteen. This is a severely endangered language.



The coastal country where the Kumeyaay lived and the Salton Sea margins contain archaeological evidence suggesting that they are some of the oldest known Indian-inhabited areas in the United States; middens, or refuse heaps, have been found that date back some 20,000 years.

Bands, Gens, and Clans:

The Kumeyaay were organized along clan lines called Sh’mulq. The clans maintained complex familial, spiritual and militaristic alliances with each other. When threatened by an outside adversary the clans would come togther under a Kwachut G’tag to meet the threat. See Kumeyaay Bands

Related Tribes: See Kumeyaay Bands link above.

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:






Economy Today:

Muht Hei, Inc. is the tribe’s corporation, which oversees Golden Acorn Casino, Campo Materials, and Kumeyaay Wind, a wind farm with 25 turbines.The tribe owns and operates the Golden Acorn Casino, the Golden Grill Restaurant, the Del Oro Deli, and a travel center, all located in Campo.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs:


Kumeyaay Leaders:


Tribe History:

The Kumeyaays first encountered Spanish explorers in 1542. Over the next 200 years, the Spanish continued to arrive along the Pacific coast and venture inland. Contact between the Spanish and the Kumeyaays was violent, but the Kumeyaays managed to escape capture or confinement numerous times. The following video discusses the ousting of the Kumeyaay from what is now San Diego.

Kumeyaay Timeline (10000 BC-2001AD)

In the News:

Further Reading:

Indian Basketry
Handbook of the Indians of California
Survival Skills of Native California
California Indian Shamanism  

US Tribes C to D
About nativelady

Leave a Reply