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San Diego State University

Diversity Starts Here

Before Our Campus

Just like most of San Diego County, SDSU was built on Kumeyaay Land. Ancestors of The Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians previously used the land where our campus is located for hunting, growing crops, as well as for raising and sheltering their families. Some of their ancestors also died on this land. The Kumeyaay, referred to as Diegueño by the Spanish, were the original native inhabitants of San Diego County. The Kumeyaay, Yuman-speaking people of Hokan stock, have lived in this region for more than 10,000 years. San Diego State University holds a great respect for the ancestral lands where our campus sits, and honors our long standing partnerships established with local tribal nations.

Viejas is much more than a casino
The historical name of Viejas is represented in the name of our campus athletic arena. SDSU and the Viejas tribal government share a strong commitment to education, youth, and supporting the diverse communities in the San Diego area. Although the name Viejas is often synonymous the Tribe’s casino and entertainment facility, University officials and Tribal leaders emphasize that this partnership has nothing to do with promoting Indian gaming or the casino.  Through the generosity of the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians tribal government, additional funding goes towards operation and maintenance of the arena, SDSU student government programs, athletic programs and scholarship funds.
SDSU Chief Diversity Officer Aaron Bruce said “Native American culture and history are woven into the history of our region. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors need to be aware of the history of the first people of this land and the contributions they make to society today”.


Learn more about Kumeyaay history