San Manuel Tribal Elections: Lynn Valbuena Re-elected Chairwoman

San Manuel Tribal Elections: Lynn Valbuena Re-elected Chairwoman
Pictured Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena being sworn into office by San Manuel Court Chief Judge Anthony Lee

Pictured Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena being sworn into office by San Manuel Court Chief Judge Anthony Lee.

Congratulations to my friend Lynn Valbuena, on her re-election as Chairwoman for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians:

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced their newly elected tribal Business Committee members today, including the re-election of Lynn Valbuena as Chairwoman. The new terms begin on April 12. 

Valbuena served as Secretary/Treasurer from 1992 – 1996, then as chairwoman of the Tribe from 1994 to 1996. She was vice chairwoman for four years beginning in 2008 before being elected Chairwoman in 2012. Valbuena has been active in state and national Native American affairs over a career that began in 1974 with her first role as San Manuel’s housing commissioner providing oversight for the housing program on the reservation. For more than 20 years, she has served as chairwoman of the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN), a regional tribal organization in southern California. She is also a former Trustee for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. 

“I am truly honored to serve my second term as Chairwoman, continuing to passionately work with San Manuel and make a difference in the community we are a part of and that we love,” said Valbuena of her re-election.

Among her associations, she serves as Trustee for the Autry National Center based in Los Angeles, and is serving in her 23rd year as delegate to the National Congress of American Indians, and her 18th year as a member of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce California – Advisory Council. Lynn served as Secretary of the National Indian Gaming Association for a record 14 years before retiring from the office in 2011. She continues to serve as a delegate to the Association. In 2015, Valbuena was inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame by the American Gaming Association. 

Sabrina Nakhjavanpour, daughter of Chairwoman Valbuena, was elected to the office of tribal treasurer, marking her first election to the San Manuel Business Committee. Nakhjavanpour currently serves as the Tribe’s representative to the Riverside San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc., as well as vice chairwoman of the Tribe’s Judiciary Committee and vice chairwoman of the Education Committee. 

Larry Hernandez was also re-elected as a Member-at-Large of the San Manuel Business Committee for a 5th term. Larry has been a key member of the Business Committee with added duties and responsibilities on the Tribal Emergency Response Team.

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