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Chairman’s Views

Pala Band Chairman Robert H Smith California

Chairman Smith’s views on issues important to Native Americans


“We need to continue to develop, create and expand new tribal business enterprises that will provide more jobs and long-term employment opportunities for Native Americans.  We will seek out new avenues for tribal enterprise development, such as gaming, entertainment, and real estate.”

Water Resources

“We [La Jolla, Pala, Pauma, Rincon and the San Pasqual Bands of Mission Indians] have come together as one body to be a political advocate for the tribes – to fight for our water rights, address tribes’ water needs, and help tribes develop and use their water appropriately.  As we seek our fair share of water allocation, we must consider what continued opportunities are available to us as owners of this valuable resource.”


“The future of health care for Native Indians is intertwined with policy decisions at the federal level and changes in mainstream health care management.  We must continue to provide a full range of health services to tribal members.”

Fire Protection

“We must commit ourselves to protecting the health and safety of the people living on and visiting reservations.  We must seek out resources to assure delivery of the services and assistance that people need. Together we can make positive improvements for the betterment of the department and those on the reservation.”


“For too many Native Americans, the dream of a college education is either a crippling burden or just that – a far away dream.  We must commit ourselves to making college education more accessible than ever before and seek out new funding sources and expand our educational programs at all levels, from youth to adult.”

Tribal Member/Reservation Resources

“The most basic responsibility of tribal leaders is to provide a variety of social, governmental, administrative, educational, health and welfare services for tribal members. Over the years Native Americans have made progress in these areas, but there is much more to be done. We need to continue to dedicate ourselves to improving the quality of life of all of our members.”