Inaja Band
of Diegueño Mission Indians
Flag of the Inaja Band-Cosmit Band
Total population
Regions with significant populations
United States (California)
Ipai,[3] Kumeyaay,[4] English, Yuman branch of Hokan linguistic group.[5]
Traditional tribal religion,
Christianity (Roman Catholicism)[6]
Related ethnic groups
other Kumeyaay tribes, Cocopa,
Quechan, Paipai and Kiliwa

The Inaja Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Inaja and Cosmit Reservation is a federally recognized tribe of Kumeyaay Indians,[6] who are sometimes known as Mission Indians.


Location of the Inaja and Cosmit Reservation

The Inaja and Cosmit Reservation (33°00′38″N 116°38′30″W / 33.01056°N 116.64167°W / 33.01056; -116.64167) is a federal Indian reservation located 36 miles northeastern San Diego County, California, near Julian. It is accessible via Interstate 8 east and California Route 67 north.[5] The reservation is 880 acres (3.6 km2) large with a population of approximately 15.[1] The reservation consists of two parcels of land, one Inaja, the other Cosmit, that sit at the base the Cuyamaca Peak and is accessed only by the unpaved, county-maintained, Boulder Creek Rd. Older houses exist at Inaja, but harsh winter conditions and lack of facilities hinder development. Cosmit used to have residences and tribal dances and fiestas in years past.[4]

The reservation was established in 1875.[2] In 1973, none of the 21 enrolled members lived on the reservation.[3] The Tribe is federally recognized.[5]


Members of the Inaja-Cosmit Band belong to the Kumeyaay Nation. Tribal lands of the Kumeyaay Nation extend from San Diego and Imperial counties in California to territories 60 miles south of the Mexican border[5] The Inaja Band is headquartered in Escondidio. They are governed by a democratically elected tribal council. Rebecca Maxcy Osuna is their current tribal chairperson.[7]

The tribe's Department of Housing and Urban Development received a $20,881 grant to rehabilitate tribal housing to make them more energy efficient, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[8]

Cultural Practices


Christianity and Roman Catholicism are the two most dominant forms of religions practiced amongst the Inaja tribe today. The Roman Catholic church plays a very vital role in every day living amongst the Inaja community, with 1.27 billion members of the church worldwide, the Inaja band mission Indians are a part of this religious practice. The adoption of Roman Catholicism being the oldest religious institutions in the world, has played a very vital role in shaping the way the Inaja band mission Indians beliefs.[9]

Ethnic groups

The Kumeyaay, or called the Tipai-Ipai and Kamia or Diegueño, are seen as the native people of the southwestern California region. These clans of natives inhabit southern California and Baja California in Mexico.[10] The Cocopah, or called the Cocopá or Kwapa, are also clans who live in Baja California of the United States. The Cocopah language belongs to the Delta–California branch of the Yuman family.[11] The Quechan or Yuma are languages of the Inaja people of California just north of the Mexican border. The Paipai are the aboriginal people of northern Baja California, Mexico. Their land lies between the Kiliwa on the south and the Kumeyaay and Cocopa on the north, extending from San Vicente near the Pacific coast.[12] The Kiliwa also are the aboriginal people of northern Baja California, Mexico. They occupied a territory lying between the Cochimí on the south and the Paipai on the north, and extending from San Felipe on the Gulf of California to San Quintín on the Pacific coast[13]


The reservation is served by the Julian Union Elementary School District and Julian Union High School District.


  1. ^ a b "California Indians and Their Reservations: I". San Diego State University Library and Information Access. Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Pritzker 2000, p. 146.
  3. ^ a b Shipek 1978, p. 612.
  4. ^ a b Eargle 2000, p. 206.
  5. ^ a b c d Inaja-Cosmit Band of Indians/Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association (retrieved 21 February 2017)
  6. ^ a b Pritzker 2000, p. 147.
  7. ^ "Tribal Governments by Area". National Congress of American Indians. Archived from the original on May 5, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  8. ^ "Inaja Cosmit Band of Mission Indians". StimulusWatch. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Stanford, Peter (29 June 2011). "Roman Catholic Church". BBC Religions. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  10. ^ Luomala 1978, pp. 607–508.
  11. ^ Pritzker 2000, p. 19.
  12. ^ Winter 1967, pp. 371–378.
  13. ^ Hohenthal 2001, p. 63.


Further reading