June 4, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                            CONTACT: Kilma Lattin

Thursday, June 4, 2009                                                                       (760) 887-5886

Doug Elmets

                                                                                                            (916) 329-9180




PALA, CAOnly a year after opening a new skate park on their reservation, the Pala Band of Mission Indians will be included in a new Smithsonian Institution exhibit on skateboarding in the Native American culture at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. Ramp it Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America will be open from June 12 – September 13, 2009.


“While we may have just built the skate park last year, skateboarding has been a large part of many members of the Pala Band’s lives for decades,” said Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Tribe. “Skateboarding allows people to combine balance, strength and dedication with design and graphic elements that are uniquely tribal. Growing up without a lot of wealth, skateboarding provides a positive outlet and I am proud the Smithsonian Institute has recognized this important, yet many times overlooked, facet of Native culture.”


“To spotlight the Pala Tribe in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution is a wonderful opportunity” said Kilma Lattin, Pala Tribal Councilmember. “It will give others a chance to see just one of the many ways that we, as Indian people, continue to write the story of modern day Native American life.”


On display in the 1800 square-foot exhibit will be pictures of Pala’s skate park and skateboard decks specially designed with Pala’s tribal graphics. Tribal member Chris Nieto, owner of Remnant Skateboards, will also have the design for his unique Pala skateboard deck on display.       


The Pala Skate Park was completed last April and was designed by award-winning designer Wally Hollyday, incorporating elements from Nieto and Lattin. It has become a popular hangout for youth from all over Southern California.


“Our children were among the strongest proponents of the skateboard park,” said Lattin. “We believe that a responsive and responsible government addresses its constituency, which absolutely includes our children.  The skateboard park represents another piece in the puzzle of our comprehensive and thoughtful approach to community building.”


The Pala Band is also a co-sponsor of the exhibit’s formal opening reception on July 2 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington DC.


The Pala Band of Mission Indians consists of 1,117 members with 650 living on the reservation along the Palomar Mountain range, located along 5,000 square miles of California’s desert and approximately 30 miles northeast of San Diego on Interstate 15.









Pala Band of Mission Indians

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