Native American Rights Fund
Annually ranked as one of California’s most effective political advocates, Mark Macarro bases his work on his tribal chairmanship of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Mark Macarro is affiliated with several national organizations, including the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).
One of the major missions of NARF is the recognition and preservation of Native American tribes, notably the customs and culture of the tribes. NARF exists to secure the tribes’ rights to a continued sovereign presence in relation to the United States government.
NARF recognizes that many tribes have signed treaties with the US government. In cases where tribes have gone unrecognized or treaties have been terminated by US agencies, NARF works to set up new relations.
For example, NARF pushed for recognition of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia. After decades of researching the tribe’s history, NARF prevailed on the US Department of the Interior to recognize the Pamunkey in 2015.
Elected to the Tribal Council of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in 1992, Mark Macarro has led as tribal chairman since 1995. Among his achievements during this time, Mark Macarro has played a key role in the growth of the Pechanga gaming interests.
In May of 2017, the Pechanga announced it had reached the midpoint of a $285 million expansion project at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. Scheduled for completion in December, the project will add 568 rooms, a two-story spa, a pair of restaurants, and several other amenities to what is already California’s largest resort and casino.
Located in the Temecula Valley, the Pechanga Resort and Casino welcomes guests interested in enjoying a range of entertainment options. Along with casino games, guests can listen to live music at the concert theater or play golf on the 18-hole course. In addition, guests have the opportunity to schedule meetings and events in the property’s hundreds of thousands of square feet of indoor and outdoor space.
Pechanga Resort and Casino is owned and operated entirely by the Pechanga people. Since opening to the public in 2002, the resort has won the AAA Four Diamond Award and earned distinction from USA Today as the Best US Casino.
National Congress of American Indians
Mark Macarro is a leader in California’s American Indian community. He is serving his 14th year as tribal chairman for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. Mark Macarro concurrently serves on the board of governors for the National Congress of the American Indians (NCAI).
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the nation’s oldest organization representing the interests of American Indians and Native peoples. It advocates for beneficial policies and initiatives on a consensus basis, considering the viewpoints and concerns of tribes and tribal governments throughout the United States.
While the NCAI routinely fights against discriminatory and inflammatory conduct, it does not typically respond to name calling and inflammatory dialogue in politics. In May 2017, however, the wholly bi-partisan organization released a statement condemning particularly insensitive remarks made by the nation’s president.
President Trump used the name Pocahontas as an insult to attack Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of his political opponents. Stakeholders at the NCAI object to the use of her name as a racial slur. Pocahontas was a real American Indian, and her legacy is very important to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in particular. The NCAI statement condemns this behavior and expresses hope that the current administration will work positively with American Indian stakeholders in the future.
Pechanga TANF Program
Mark Macarro serves as tribal chairman for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California. Currently in his 14th year as chairman, Mark Macarro is a respected leader in the local community.
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians can trace its roots in California’s Temecula Valley back more than 10,000 years, and the band is one of seven that calls the area home. They have persisted through considerable adversity, from massacres to evictions to discriminatory legislation. Today, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians provides a wealth of valuable cultural and community services in the greater Temecula area.
These valuable services include the Pechanga TANF Program, a service that supports families from low-income backgrounds. This program is dedicated to promoting traditional two-parent families and helping those families become self-sufficient. To this end, it offers assistance with childcare and employment as well as providing some cash aid.
Qualifying families must live within the Pechanga Indian Reservation, have children, and meet financial guidelines. To learn more about these and other services available, visit: www.pechanga-nsn.gov.