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SAN JACINTO: Soboba leader Salgado leaves legacy of service

Robert “Bobby” Salgado Sr. led the Soboba tribe off-and-on for more than three decades through good times and bad.

Bobby Salgado


Published: March 7, 2016 Updated: 8:43 p.m.

A previous version of this story had the incorrect ammount of money Salgado accepted in kickbacks. The amount is $875,000.

Robert “Bobby” Salgado Sr., who led the Soboba tribe off and on for more than three decades, is being remembered for helping others – from his people to his athletes – and for being a role model since his teenage years.

“He was a guy all the younger guys looked up to,” said Lawrence Cutting, who was three years behind Salgado at San Jacinto High School. “He was a hero to many of us growing up. One will never forget his smile and the ‘bigger than life’ presence about him.”

Salgado died Sunday, March 6, at age 73 after years of suffering from diabetes and other illnesses. He oversaw good times on the reservation – such as winning a battle over water rights and the opening and expansion of the Soboba Casino – and bad, including disputes with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and a bribery indictment that led to time in prison.

In October 2010, Salgado pleaded guilty to one count each of bribery and filing a false tax return in connection with accepting almost $875,000 in kickbacks from vendors in exchange for giving them contracts on the San Jacinto-area reservation and its Soboba Casino.

In return for the guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped 34 of the 36 felony counts against him. Five months later, he was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison. He was released in July 2014.

With a barrel chest and gruff voice, Salgado was a presence most everywhere he went. He could often be found sitting on a chair holding a cane. People would approach him with awe and respect.

In a statement released Monday, March 7, his family said: “Robert improved the quality of life for all those around him. We are a stronger and better family and community because of his vision and love. He lives in our hearts and spirit and will forever guide us through his example of kindness, strength and generosity.”

Funeral details had not been released by late Monday afternoon.

Among the many people Salgado influenced was future state legislator Dennis Hollingsworth, who played football under Salgado while he coached at San Jacinto High in the early 1980s.

“Bobby was a leader alright,” Hollingsworth wrote on Facebook. “Bobby loomed large over everything he was involved in. But he was always ‘coach’ to me ... He left an indelible imprint on my character as a coach, part of who I am today.

“If the mark of a leader is their work carrying on in others, there are many carrying that on, including a squad of linemen from San Jacinto High School who ran and crawled and sweated for Coach Bobby.”


Salgado, who graduated from San Jacinto High in 1961, was an outstanding athlete at the school and at Mt. San Jacinto College. He was asked to try out for the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers as a placekicker.

Salgado continued to support athletics at both schools as a coach and later a donor.

Poway School Receives $5,000 Barona Education Grant

Pomerado Elementary to Use Funds to Develop Clubs for After-School Program

Barona Pomerado

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 7, 2016) - Staff and students at Poway's Pomerado Elementary School received a $5,000 Barona Education Grant from the Barona Band of Mission Indians.

Sheilla Alvarez, Director of Government Affairs for the Barona Band of Mission Indians, presented the check to Principal Luis Ortiz. Pomerado Elementary plans to use the funds to enhance its after-school program by purchasing materials to further develop a variety of clubs ranging from drama and music to chess, gardening, and multi-media.

The grant's sponsor, California Assembly Member Brian Maienschein of Northeastern San Diego, remarked, "After-school programs and clubs are an effective and fun way for children to learn, develop skills, and build confidence. Barona's Education Grant will aid in the development of Pomerado Elementary students by allowing children to discover new strengths and interests." 

"Education and development doesn't end when the bell rings and is often enhanced by participation in school clubs and extracurricular activities," said Clifford LaChappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "We're excited that our Barona Education Grand will help Pomerado Elementary to expand its after-school program."

Since 2006, the Barona Band of Mission Indians has awarded over $2.6 million to 532 schools statewide to help bridge school budget gaps and share resources through its Barona Education Grant Program.

The program is the first of its kind in California created and administered by a Tribal Government. The goal of the program is to create strong educational opportunities for the children of California building upon the success of the Barona Indian Charter School, which operates under a continuous improvement model. Schools throughout California can apply for educational grants from Barona to purchase much-needed supplies and materials that promote academic improvement. Each grant awarded by the Barona Education Grant Program is $5,000. Applications can be downloaded at

About the Barona Band of Mission Indians
The Barona Band of Mission Indians, recognized by the United States government as a sovereign nation, has lived on the Barona Indian Reservation in rural eastern San Diego County since 1932. Prior to that, the Tribe lived on the Capitan Grande Reservation, which was established by the federal government in 1875. Long before living on a reservation, the Tribe traveled across Southern California in tune with the seasons and what nature provided. Today, the sovereign nation, governed by an elected Tribal Council, is serving its Tribal members, their families, and sharing with the San Diego region. One of the most successful gaming Tribes in the country, Barona also owns and operates the Barona Resort & Casino, San Diego's leading gaming resort, casino and golf course. For more information,

Indigenous tribe in Brazil creates video game to help preserve culture


For indigenous communities grappling with how to preserve their cultures, there's the constant question of how to bridge the gap between historical tradition and a tech-focused world.

But a seemingly unusual medium has emerged as an avenue toward achieving this goal: gaming. And one indigenous tribe in Brazil is using it as a means to tell their story.

The Kaxinawá people have teamed up with anthropologists and game developers to create Huni Kuin: The Way of the Snake, a game for PC and Mac that honors the indigenous community's culture.Huni Kuin, a phrase the Kaxinawá use to refer to themselves, translates to "real people" in the tribe's main language.

Guilherme Meneses, an anthropologist from the University of São Paulo, acted as lead developer on the game, which helps relay the myths, stories and rituals of the Kaxinawá tribe through gameplay.

Meneses told Agencia Brasil that he created the game to help curb some of the misconceptions and prejudice people may have about indigenous communities, hoping the game would help increase the amount of public information available on indigenous life and history. 

The five-level platform game follows two Kaxinawá twins, a hunter and an artisan, as they explore a game world steeped in storytelling and tradition. The twins are granted special powers by a snake, using their skills to overcome challenges relating to animals, plants and spirits of the forest — three entities of high importance to the tribe.

The game uses the Kaxinawá language as a main mode of narration, with subtitles to translate, Agencia Brasil reports. It took six months of research and three years of development to complete.

Beyond the adventure in Huni Kuin, there's a single stand-out quality: authenticity. 

Beyond the adventure of Huni Kuin, there's a single stand-out quality: authenticity.

The tribe had a heavy hand in the game's development, with around 30 members involved in everything from script development to music and narration. Since the tribe was actually consulted on their representation in the game, players can be assured they're having a culturally accurate, sensitive and responsible experience.

Using gameplay to help preserve indigenous culture isn't unique to this single tribe. Throughout the past few years, indigenous communities across the globe have begun to take advantage of the storytelling abilities of gaming to make their cultures accessible to the connected generation. One recent example is Never Alone, which tells the stories of the Alaskan Iñupiat people and helps provide positive images for indigenous youth.

As of 2010, around 7,500 people of the Kaxinawá tribe lived in Brazil, with an additional 2,400 living in Peru. According to indigenous advocacy organizationSurvival International, there are about 240 total tribes living in Brazil today, comprising around 900,000 people.

Huni Kuin will be available for free download starting in April, according to the game's website.

[H/TThe Huffington Post]

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