Lynn Valbuena Now Reprising Role As San Manuel Tribal Chairwoman

(May 12)  Lynn “Nay” Valbuena, who served as chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians two decades ago, has returned to head the tribe, having been reelected to the post last month.
“I am humbled by this election to lead the people of San Manuel,” said Valbuena. “The future of our tribe requires that we continue the work initiated by our ancestors generations ago to ensure not only our survival, but also to maintain our cultural strengths as well as a commitment to progress in an increasingly complex world. I am firmly committed to these principles.”
Valbuena has been active in guiding the tribe’s operations since 1974, when she was selected to a position on the San Manuel housing commission, which provided oversight for the housing program on the reservation, which is located near Highland in San Bernardino County.
For the last 19 years, Valbuena has served as chairwoman of the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN), a regional tribal organization in Southern California whose purpose is to advance tribal government issues with local, state and federal governments.
Among her current affiliations, she serves on the board of trustees for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, as trustee for the Autry National Center based in Los Angeles, is serving in her 23rd year as delegate to the National Congress of American Indians, and has been a member of the Advisory Council for the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California for 15 years.
Valbuena has been active with regard to several local agencies and charities. She was employed as a stenographer, court officer, resource officer and public spokeswoman with the San Bernardino Police Department for 16 years.  She previously served as a board member with the San Bernardino Valley Lighthouse for the Blind and the San Bernardino YMCA.
She has received numerous distinctions throughout her career, including the San Bernardino County Safety Employee’s Benefit Association Distinguished Benefactor Honoree in 2011, California Assemblyman Bill Emmerson’s California Woman of Distinction award in 2010, Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations (WEWIN) honoree and the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman’s Leadership Award.
Valubena and her husband Stephen have two children and three grandchildren.

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