Mark Macarro

Mark Macarro

Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians
Chairman, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians

Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, was first elected in 1992 and is serving his sixth term on the council and fifth term as chairman. Macarro's vision for the Pechanga people is to see the band strengthen its political self-determination and economic self-sufficiency by developing a diversified economy for the Pechanga Band.

A national leader, Macarro represents Pechanga in the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and on the board of directors for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). As a Gray Davis gubernatorial appointee, Macarro was the only Native American to serve on the California Workforce Investment Act Board. Macarro is the current Chairman of the Riverside County Sheriff Native American Affairs Commission. He also served as a Riverside County Board of Supervisors appointee to the County Historical Commission. Macarro was also elected to the board of directors of Borrego Springs Bank, NA. As a charter board member Chairman Macarro helped found the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS), a non-profit organization, in the early '90s.

Chairman Macarro believes it is critical to maintain and cultivate the Pechanga tribal culture, language, and traditional life ways so that the Pechanga people can preserve their unique tribal identity. Macarro is a traditional Luiseño singer, singing ceremonial Nukwaanish funeral songs at Indian wakes throughout area Indian reservations, and is a practitioner of Cham'teela, the Luiseño's native language. He has also been an apprentice bird singer to Robert Levi, an elder of the Torres-Martinez Reservation; having learned hundreds of Levi's birdsongs.

Macarro served as program manager for the library and museum at the Rincon Reservation from 1992 through 1995, as the director of youth education at Soboba Reservation's Noli School from 1990 through 1992, and began his career in Indian country as a grants/contracts administrator for the Pechanga Reservation in 1988. Macarro also served as a credentialed substitute teacher for grades 7-12 in the Riverside County Schools system, the San Jacinto Unified School District, the Colton Joint Unified School District, and Riverside City School District.

Macarro has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a graduate of Colton High School.

Macarro was born in San Bernardino, California on October 7, 1963 and raised in Colton, California. Chairman Macarro's father, the late Leslie Macarro, was a Pechanga tribal member and a correctional peace officer killed in the line of duty in May of 1988. He worked for the California Youth Authority. His great-grandfather, Juan Macarro (1851-1920) served as Captain for the Pechanga Band during the first decade of the 1900's and was also a Nukwaanish singer. The office of chairman was formerly called "captain".