|California Lt. Governor Cruz M. Bustamante named Mary Ann Martin Andreas, tribal chairwoman of
the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, as the first recipient of the Woman of the Year award to be issued by the
Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
Andreas is a remarkable person because of her personal triumphs and the progress she has achieved on behalf of
not only her own tribe, but for all of California's tribes," Bustamante said in making the award. "This
is a woman who grew up in a house with dirt floors and no running water or electricity."
served for more than two decades in tribal government, and has worked closely with city, county, state and federal
lawmakers on many issues, including housing, child welfare and economic development. In addition, she has focused
on water and land resources, health care, vocational training, education, and transportation issues, as well as
environmental protection, elder care, community planning and tribal gaming issues.
She has been
elected four times as the tribal chairwoman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, a 1,000 member tribe that resides
near Banning, California. Under her leadership, the Morongo tribe has gone from welfare dependency to success as
one of the largest tribal employers in California. She has been named one of the top ten Native American leaders
in the country
and was honored by the National Indian Gaming Association as Tribal Leader of the Year in 1998.
the first member of her tribe to attend Harvard University, where she graduated from a special program for senior
executives in state and local government. She began her public service career in 1978, which included service as
a Morongo tribal council member; a tribal delegate for Indian Health Services; and as a member of the Malki Museum,
which is dedicated to preserving the Cahuilla Indian culture and traditions.
In 1999, Andreas
was elected by more than 50 tribal governments to lead historic tribal-state gaming negotiations with the Governor
of California. Never before in the country had this many tribal governments and a state Governor come together
for this purpose. More than 50,000 jobs and the economic future of California's tribes were at stake.
who admire Chairwoman Andreas know she has remarkable character. She has vision. She has heart. She has courage.
She speaks her mind," Bustamante said. "She has helped transform ignorance, racism and indifference into
understanding and support. Our world will be different because she was here."
honored as part of the Legislature's annual Woman of the Year ceremony.