Carla Rodriguez has been elected as the new chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians./CONTRIBUTED IMAGE



Published: 29 March 2012 05:03 PM

Carla Rodriguez expects a smooth transition as she prepares to take over as chairwoman of the San Manuel Tribe of Mission Indians next month.

The tribe announced this week that Rodriguez, 58, of San Bernardino was elected by the tribe for a two-year term as chairwoman starting April 16, replacing her nephew, James Ramos, who had held the position since 2008.

Ramos chose not to seek another term to concentrate on his run for the 3rd District San Bernardino County supervisor seat in the June election. Both Ramos and Rodriquez said the two share many of the same goals for the 200-member tribe whose reservation is located in the foothills of San Bernardino.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any drastic changes,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is the great-granddaughter of Santos Manuel, the namesake of the reservation who led the Yuhaviatam Clan of Serrano Indians when the reservation was established in 1891. With her family history, she said she takes her new role very seriously.

“I take that really, really highly and always show my respect to my elders before us who have given to us what we have today,” she said.

The tribe, which owns and operates a lucrative bingo hall and casino, has seen its profile increase in recent years as it has become more influential in state politics and contributed to numerous charities.

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