Walked on Juaneño Tribal Leader David Belardes Dies at Age 67

Juaneño Tribal Leader David Belardes Dies at Age 67
David Belardes, tribal chairman of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, died on December 29 after a brave battle with cancer.
Serving his tribe since the 1970s, Belardes was repeatedly elected chairman for the Juaneños of the Acjachemen Nation since 1989. The tribe is currently a non-federally recognizied coastal tribe still living in and around their ancestral lands of Orange County, Riverside west county, Los Angeles south county, and San Diego north county.
Belardes, who grew up with the “old knowledge,” cared dearly for his people — all of whom he knew, most of them personally. Over the years, he became a highly respected and successful leader in dealing with the politics, ceremonies, and social services for his tribe, among numerous other responsibilities he gladly took on.
In San Juan Capistrano, Belardes was the head of a cultural museum at the Blas Aguilar Adobe/Foundation, which was originally built for his mission neophyte family in 1794 and later in 1845 for his Californio Mexican colonist family. It now belongs to the City and is operated as an interpretive center of Juaneño/Acjachemen history. Thanks to David’s time and efforts, this museum and its foundation will received a preservation grant that will ensure his people’s legacy forever.
Having sat on Chairman Belardes’s tribal council off and on since 1997 (as I currently do), I can personally attest to the many selfless traits that made him such a great leader and friend. Like many others, I owe the respect and dignity I now have for my Juaneño tribal brothers and sisters to David Belardes — who, despite much political and cultural controversy, brought people together.
He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, tribal members, and all who had the good fortune to know and work with him.
Yawaa (Peace)
Abel Silvas
San Diego, CA

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Juaneno Tribal Leader David Belardes Dies: Age 67.

(Rose, I’m sending this you now to give you an idea of what i have….please fill free to proof read before I submit, BUT don’t print yet))
Juaneno Tribal Leader David Belardes Dies: Age 67.
In 1989 David Belardes was elected tribal chairman for the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians of the Acjachemen Nation. Currently the Juanenos are a coastal non-Federal recognizied tribe still living and around their ancestral lands of Orange County, Riverside west county, Los Angeles south county, and San Diego north county.
David, who grew up with the old knowledge, cared for his people dearly and become a very successful leader dealing with the politics, ceremonies, and social services for his people, whom he knew them all!
In San Juan Capistrano he led a cultrual museum at the Blas Aguilar Adobe/Foundation, which was originally built for mission neophytes in 1794 and later in 1845 it was occupied by Californio Mexican colonist. It now belongs to the City and is operated as an interpretive center of Juaneno/Acjachemen history. Thanks to David this museum and its foundation will received a preservation grant that will re-ensure his peoples legacy forever.
I personally sit on Chairman Belardes’s tribal council currently off and on since 1998 and I owe it all to him for the respect and dignity I have now for my Juaneno tribal brothers and sisters out there, despite their controversy and hatred. You must admit…He was a great man!

Juaneno Band of Mission Indians December 12, 2014

Died: 40 Juanenos killed during morning mass at San Juan Capistrano Mission when the church’s stone ceiling collapsed on Dec. 8, 1812. (Read more: http://orangecountysqueezed.blogspot.com/2011/12/juaneno-tribal-members-remember-victims.html)
The Juaneno Band of Mission Indians have always been a one nation tribe since Father Serra came to their homeland in 1776. Even to this day they continue to be a strong one tribe protecting their history and homeland without a reservation. Thanks to the great leadership of Chairman David Belardes for keeping the Band together for the last 25 years and hopfully for many more years to come.
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David has kept the and continue to purse United State Federal Recognition for a reservation