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Tribal Communities We Serve

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The American Indian Studies Department at California State University San Marcos is dedicated to serving the needs of its Tribal Nations through place-based learning. As such our commitment to working with neighboring tribal communities is evident in CSUSM’s track record in implementing its Tribal Initiative to provide access to higher education and support for AIAN students in their journey through college. You can read more about history of the American Indian Studies Department, the work of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, and the Tribal Initiative in the State of the American Indian and Alaska Native Education in California Report (2016).


There are 110 federally recognized tribes in the State of California, which is home to the second highest number of people identifying as American Indian or Alaska Native outside of Oklahoma. Furthermore, California ranked highest in the 2010 Census for all census respondents who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native alone or in combination with another race. There are 35 tribal nations within CSUSM’s service region.  San Diego County alone is home to the most federally recognized American Indian tribes than any other county in the contiguous US with 18 Indian reservations and 17 tribal governments presiding over 4% of the county’s land base.