(Pictured left to right) Museum Curator of Anthropology Tamara Serrao-Leiva, San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez, Morongo Chairman Charles Martin, Karina Torres, San Bernardino County Deputy Executive Officer Diana Alexander, San Bernardino County Museum Director Melissa Russo, Sen. Rosilicie Ochoa-Bogh, San Manuel Vice Chairman Johnny Hernandez, Assemblymember James Ramos, 5th District San Bernardino County Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr.)

For the first time in Inland Empire history, San Bernardino County officials acknowledged Native American tribal land by announcing that its museums — including the San Bernardino County Museum (Redlands), Victor Valley Museum (Apple Valley), and Yucaipa Adobe — are sited upon the ancestral territory of the Maara’yam (Serrano) people.

The County of San Bernardino recently joined elected leaders from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, California State Senate, and California State Assembly in celebrating the unveiling of a written proclamation display at the entrance to the San Bernardino County Museum.

"It is a privilege for San Bernardino County to honor our region's Native American heritage at the entrance to our museum in Redlands," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. "It is important for our children and everyone who visits our museum and our county to be aware of the people and the culture that once thrived on this land and thrives in our community to this day."

For the first time in living memory, the Serrano language will be given a place of priority through both written and spoken word in a public space in San Bernardino County.

The ceremony opened with Native traditions, including bird singing, preparing leaders from the three groups to unveil a new entrance display of an official ancestral territory land acknowledgment presented in Serrano, English, and Spanish.

The proclamation display and event celebrated and acknowledged the shared heritage that exists between the county and the indigenous Maara’yam (Serrano) people.

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