HIGHLAND, Calif. – The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians recently made a gift of $100,000 to Noli Indian School, a private alternative middle and high school and California’s first BIA funded grant school. The gift will support the school’s mission to provide a quality education for students from the 20 soveriegn Indian nations it serves.
“We share a belief with Noli that education and culture are fundamental to the development of Native youth,” said San Manuel Chairman James Ramos. “Once you attain a degree or learn to practice your culture this knowledge becomes a part of who you are and can never be taken away.”
Funds received from this donation will be used to purchase textbooks, computers, sporting equipment, campus safety materials and other necessary supplies that will be used for the benefit of the entire student body.
“Since opening our doors in 1990, Noli has experienced rapid enrollment growth and expects to continue expanding to assure positive educational outcomes for the communities we serve,” said Noli Principal Donavan Post. “San Manuel’s donation will allow us to grow to accommodate more students and offer them high quality programs and materials.”
The school’s population consists primarily of students from the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, but also serves many tribes from Southern California including San Manuel, Morongo, Cahuilla, Pechanga, Pala, Pauma, La Jolla, Rincon, Augustine, Ramona, Torres Martinez and Los Coyotes reservations.
A unique aspect of the school is its focus on Native American culture. To graduate from Noli, all students must complete course work in cultural studies. The school provides an array of activities for students, staff, parents and community involvement.
Noli instructors and students have been involved and provided expertise for the week-long California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference held annually by San Manuel at California State University – San Bernardino to coincide with the California Native American Day state holiday. For more on the holiday, visit www.nativeamericanday.com.