About Us

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe located on the San Manuel Indian Reservation near Highland, California. San Manuel exercises its inherent sovereign right of self-governance and provides essential services for its citizens by building infrastructure, maintaining civil services, and promoting social, economic and cultural development. As the Indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys, mountains and high deserts, the Serrano people of San Manuel have called this area home since time immemorial and are committed to remaining a productive partner in the San Bernardino region.


2024 San Manuel Pow Wow

Livestream Coming Soon

September 20th - 22nd 2024

About Pow Wow

San Manuel Pow Wow is a three-day celebration free to the public and features Southern California traditional bird singers and dancers, as well as North American and Canadian dancers and drum singing groups. In addition, there is also vending from artisans representing Indian tribal nations from all across North America and Canada. 

Since its beginning in 1996, the San Manuel Pow Wow has remained a celebration of Indigenous cultures and a symbol or Indigenous resiliency–open to all in the spirit of friendship.

During the three-day event, the Pow Wow is a sacred space where people from across Indian Country can share their traditions, spirituality and individual style through sounds, motion and art. Native American dishes–such as crowd-favorite foods like fry bread–as well as a diverse array of authentic Native American traditional crafts and fine art will be available for purchase from vendors.

San Manuel is proud to present more than $250,000 in cash prizes, which will be awarded to contestants competing in the Native American dancing and singing competitions.

We look forward to hosting our Native American relatives: dancers, drum groups, vendors, spectators, and honored guests to celebrate the very best of Indian Country.

San Manuel Pow Wow Event Image
Opening Cermony

San Manuel Pow Wow 2024

2024 SoCal Pow Wow

Daily Schedule

Vendor Information

With respect to Indian culture, Native American artists only. Vendor booths are 10’x10’. All vendors need fire extinguishers. Availability is limited and no walk-up vendors, please. For more information, email: [email protected] 

Vendor Application

Vendor Booth

Origins of San Manuel Pow Wow

In 1996, Tribal Citizens Cruz Chacon and Tom Ramos were instrumental in founding the San Manuel Pow Wow. The Pow Wow was established during a critical period of revitalization for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, following a century of struggle on the San Manuel Indian Reservation near San Bernardino, California. This challenging period was marked by a lack of resources and awareness of the Tribe, prompting the need for social and economic revival. Cruz Chacon's vision for the Pow Wow was to create a gathering that would not only unite tribal people but also provide a platform to share and support Native American cultures including San Manuel’s.
The San Manuel Pow Wow has played a significant role in changing the narrative about San Manuel, opening minds to see the Tribe as a cultural people with deep roots in their ancestral lands of Southern California.  Every year, thousands of visitors attend the pow wow, which serves as a gateway to a culture that they may live close to but were unaware of its existence. According to Tom Ramos, “There was a time not too far off when people didn't fully understand the cultural importance of our Tribe's presence in Southern California. As San Manuel became a significant employer and governmental partner, we dedicated ourselves to raise awareness about our heritage and the heritage of other Native Americans. The San Manuel Pow Wow highlights our Marra’yam (Serrano) culture and traditions while welcoming thousands of others to celebrate their own Native identities. We take great pride in our heritage as an Indigenous nation and welcome all those who wish to learn more about our tribe and other Native American peoples."
The San Manuel Pow Wow has grown to be one of the largest in Southern California with more than 20,000 attendees. It's free and open to the public. It's also a reflection of the generosity of the Tribe. As Cruz Chacon did from the start, San Manuel feeds all dancers and singers over the course of the gathering. Dancers and drum groups pay no entry fees, and the prize money is generous. Vendors also pay no booth fees. It is a showcase of Indigenous cultures--a symbol of resilience and a builder of understanding between Native and non-Native communities.


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