The Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation are the original inhabitants of the lands that ultimately became the County of Orange, as well as parts of San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties.
Long before the Spanish arrived to build Mission San Juan Capistrano, the land of Orange County was home to the Acjachemen people. For thousands of years, the Acjachemen culture and way of life thrived because they understood their survival was interconnected with the natural world.
The oak woodlands, valley meadows, river marshes and ocean were their supermarket, pharmacy, and hardware store. The native Acjachemen viewed the land as something sacred that needed to be protected and carefully used to insure the livelihood of their people. ~ missionsjc.com
Our ancestors provided the original manpower for the construction of some of the earliest key landmarks in Orange County, including the Mission San Juan Capistrano. While the American Colonies were being founded on the East Coast, the Acjachemen Indians were conscripted to build the mission here on the West Coast.
We identified ourselves as Acjachemen, but to the Spaniards who first came to our homeland, our souls were apportioned by the jurisdiction of the missions, hence our Spanish name "Juaneño" coming from the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.
The Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation is a State-recognized Native American Indian Tribe possessed of inherent sovereign attributes and powers, exercising jurisdiction over its ancestral homelands and territory.
Our tribe is governed by the Tribal Council and is led by Tribal Chairwoman, Teresa M. Romero. The tribal citizenship of our great nation is numbered at 1,941 blood descendants, verified through certified genealogist, who trace individual lineage to Acjachemen village ancestors. The Acjachemen citizenship is diversified by representation through our many tribal committees, community activities, and tribal gatherings. As the ancient inhabitants of our defined territory, we are extremely proud and protective of our heritage, our people, and the many relationships we call our friends.