The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is one of 562 federally-recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives in the United States. Federally-recognized tribes possess certain inherent powers self-government.
Tribal governments exercise a form of governmental immunity that is comparable to the immunity of states, local governments and the federal government. Like the federal government, tribal governments retain limited immunity in order to protect government funds and discretionary governmental functions.
In Worcester v. Georgia (1832), U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the Indian nations were "distinct, independent political communities retaining their original natural rights."
Proclamation - Morongo Band of Mission Indians
November 12, 1913
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas by Executive order dated August 25, 1877, all the even numbered sections and all the unsurveyed portions of T. 2 S., R. 1 E.; T. 2 S., R. 2 E.; T. 3 S., R. 1 E.; and T. 3 S., R. 2 E. of the San Bernardino meridian, except sections 16 and 36, and except all tracts the title to which has passed from the United States Government, were withdrawn from sale and settlement and set apart as a reservation for Mission Indian purposes; and
Whereas by Executive order dated March 9, 1881, all the unsurveyed portions of T. 2 S., R. 1 E., San Bernardino meridian, in California, except any tract or tracts the title to which has passed out of the United States, were withdrawn from sale and settlement and set apart as a reservation for Indian purposes; and
Whereas the commission appointed under the provision of the act of Congress approved January 12, 1891, entitled "An act for the relief of the Mission Indians in the State of California" (United States Statutes at Large, volume 26, page 712), selected for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians certain tracts of land in the foregoing townships, and intentionally omitted certain other tracts reported to be not used or occupied by the said Indians; and
Whereas the report and recommendations of the said commission were approved by Executive order dated December 29, 1891, which order also directed that "all of the lands mentioned in said report are hereby withdrawn from settlement and entry until patents shall have issued for said selected reservations, and until the recommendations of the said commission shall be fully executed, and by the proclamation of the President of the United States the lands or any part thereof shall be restored to the public domain"; and
Whereas a patent was issued on December 14, 1908, to the said Morongo Indians for the lands selected for this band by the commission as aforesaid; and
Whereas, under authority of the act of March 1, 1907 (United States Statutes at Large, volume 34, page 1022), additional lands reported to be occupied and used by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians have been patented to the said band; and
Whereas filings can not be made on the lands not patented to the said Indians and reported to be not used or occupied by them until the Executive orders named herein have been modified; and
Whereas no good reasons appear of record or are known to exist for retaining any of the lands reserved for the said Morongo Band, except the tracts hereinafter described:
Now, therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested, do hereby declare and make known that the Executive orders of August 25, 1877, March 9, 1881, and that part of the order of December 29, 1891, withdrawing lands for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, are hereby revoked except in so far as they affect the lands patented to the Morongo Band, and except also the lands described as follows:
Township 3, range 1. - - S. 1/2 of SE. 1/4 and S. 1/2 of SW. 1/4 of sec. 14; sections 22, 24, and 26; SW. 1/4, NE. 1/4 of NW. 1/4, N. 1/2 of NW. 1/4 of NW. 1/4, and E. 1/2 of section 34.
Township 3, range 2. - - Lots 5, 6 and 7, SW. 1/4 and lots 9, 11, and 12 of section 20; S. 1/2 of section 22; S. 1/2 of section 24; N. 1/2 of section 28; N. 1/2 of NW. 1/4, SW. 1/4 of NW. 1/4, SW. 1/4, E. 1/2 of SE. 1/4, SW. 1/4 of SE. 1/4, E. 1/2 of NW. 1/4 of SE. 1/4, and SW. 1/4 of NW. 1/4 of SE. 1/4 of section 32.
All south and east of the San Bernardino base and meridian in California.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this twelfth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirteen, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-eight.
Citation: John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters,The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA: University ofCalifornia (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database). Available from: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=76687