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Katherine Siva-Saubel


Malki Museum Agave Roast 2011

Katherine Siva-Saubel (19202011) was a Native American elder and cultural leader from the Cahuilla tribe in Southern California. She played a crucial role in preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of the Cahuilla people. Siva-Saubel was born on March 7, 1920, on the Morongo Indian Reservation in California.

She dedicated much of her life to education and advocacy for Native American rights. Siva-Saubel served as the tribal chairwoman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians for several decades, contributing to the economic and social development of her tribe.

One of her significant accomplishments was her involvement in the creation of the Malki Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history, culture, and traditions of the Cahuilla people. Siva-Saubel co-authored a book titled "I'll Go and Do More: Annie Dodge Wauneka, Navajo Leader and Activist" that documented the life of another prominent Native American leader.

Katherine Siva-Saubel received numerous awards for her contributions, including the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 1993. She passed away on November 1, 2011, leaving a lasting legacy in the preservation and promotion of Native American culture.


Katherine Siva Saubel, a Native American scholar, Cahuilla historian, co-founder of the Malki Museum, and one California's most respected tribal elders, died Tuesday at her home on the Morongo Indian Reservation, her nephew and caregiver said Wednesday. "It is windy today, because the wind is looking for her," Kevin Siva, a lifelong resident of the Morongo Reservation, said in a phone interview. "She always told me stories about the wind when I was younger." Saubel died Tuesday at home in bed, "very peacefully," said Siva, who has been his aunt's caregiver for the past 15 years.

Saubel was born in March 1920 in her village Pachaval in northern San Diego County.

- by Guy McCarthy, Banning-Beaumont Patch, November 2, 2011


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