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Rincon tribal member joins Palomar Health Foundation Board



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March 05, 2014
Tishmall Turner, member of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, and Tribal Liaison for Cal State University, San Marcos, has been appointed to the Palomar Health Foundation Board.

"I was honored when asked to join the board, and I am excited to be part of an organization that invests so much energy and passion in making our region a better place for everyone," said Turner.

Turner believes that serving on the foundation board is like her position as tribal liaison at the university.

"My role at Cal State is generating awareness and links between the tribal communities, the university staff, and other community institutions," Turner said. She describes her personal mission as, "making positive connections between tribal communities and our neighbors."

Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band, expressed pride in the appointment. "Tishmall is a true warrior; she's making a place for Indian people in today's world," Mazzetti said.

By educating people about the native history, cultural contributions and the American Indian presence in the region, Turner explains, the university is creating an environment where Indian people feel welcome and where young tribal members are encouraged to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees.

"I am very fortunate to be associated with Cal State University. The dedication the campus has shown in recognizing and honoring North County tribal bands is truly gratifying," she added.

Turner also serves as chairwoman of the Rincon Band's Community Contributions Committee. The committee reviews charitable requests from public and non-profit organizations on behalf of the Rincon tribal council, and makes gifts of $500 to $10,000, totaling more than $100,000 annually. These community contributions are occasionally matched with larger grants bequeathed by the Rincon tribal council.

An example is the $100,000 gift recently made to the Palomar Heath Foundation. Turner points out the Rincon Band, owner of Harrah's Rincon Resort and Casino in Valley Center, is able to make philanthropic contributions because of tribal gaming.

"Gaming made a difference in our lives. In addition to providing the funds that underwrite our government's ability to care for our people and lands, we now have the ability to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors."

According to Turner, sharing is a strong tradition among American Indians. Caring for each other is a way of life learned early in childhood – a practice that creates strong communities and has sustained tribal people through good and bad times.

"Palomar Pomerado Hospital has been good to Rincon families in important moments in our lives, and the $100,000 gift is our way of saying, 'Thank you,'" explains Turner, adding that the donation is also an investment in quality health care for the region.

"As neighbors, Indians and non-Indians share the same concerns and need for many things from access to a university education, to quality healthcare. By investing our collective resources-- human and financial - we have more power to make more lives healthier and happier."

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