Focusing on the ancestral territory of tribes in present-day Southern California, the Native American Land Conservancy protects and restores sacred sites and areas, provides educational programming for Native American youth and the general public, and conducts scientific studies on cultural, biological, and historical resources on sacred lands.
The organization started in 1998 with leadership from an intertribal cultural group interested in protecting off-reservation sacred sites in the Southern California desert. Today, the NALC’s work is more important than ever as development continues in the Inland Empire, Coachella Valley, and Morongo Basin.
We were founded in the late 1990s by tribal leaders dedicated to conserving our land.
In the late 1990s, the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians hosted cultural nights on their reservation. Many tribes, including the Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians, the Hualapai Tribe, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, and the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, attended and participated in these events to share meals, language, and songs.
Members of this group formed the Native American Land Conservancy in order to protect and preserve sacred lands important to these participating tribes. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and its tribal enterprise Spotlight 29 Casino continues its central role in supporting the Native American Land Conservancy through the years of its existence and continues to support the NALC today by offering meeting space and staff hours to support the land trust.
Today, many of these founding members continue to participate in the Native American Land Conservancy, including Dean Mike, former Chairman of the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and first Chairman of the NALC. He currently serves as a Board Member for the NALC.
Michael Madrigal, (Cahuilla [Cahuilla Band of Indians])- Board President
Michael Madrigal is a founding member and has served on the NALC Board of Directors for a number of years and currently is the Board President, helping lead the organization overall. He is an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians.
Sean Milanovich (Cahuilla [Agua Caliente Band]) - Vice President
Sean Milanovich is actively involved in organizing our Learning Landscapes program. He also serves on the Board of Directors for an NALC partner organization, Paayish Neken. He is an enrolled member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
Nicole A. Johnson - Secretary
Nicole Johnson has over 10 years of experience in public policy and inter-governmental relations in Indian Country. She has worked with tribes throughout California on an extensive array of issues including cultural resource management, tribal law enforcement, public health, gaming, and economic development.
Robert Paull is an enrolled tribal member of the Lummi Nation from the Pacific Northwest of Washington State and is a Persian Gulf War combat veteran. He is the Treasurer of the Native American Land Conservancy and has been involved with the organization since 2015. Robert is also the President of the California Indian Nations College Foundation.
NALC BOARD MEMBERS
To be announced...