News from the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians:
Mary Ann Green, the former Tribal Chairperson of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, passed away Sunday after battling a long illness. Mary Ann died peacefully Sunday evening at her home in Coachella surrounded by family.
Mary Ann was Tribal Chairperson 1988-2016 and was instrumental in protecting, maintaining and expanding the government, culture and traditions of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians on its reservation. Her work to ensure Tribal self-sufficiency and economic stability for her Tribe led to the development of many beneficial programs for Tribal members, a 3-megawatt renewable energy project, an organic farm, and the Augustine Casino, currently in its 15th year of operations.
Mary Ann is survived by three children; Amanda, Ronnie and William Vance; and three grandchildren; Kayliee, Payton and Jayla.
She will be remembered fondly by hundreds (if not thousands) who knew her, worked for her and loved her. It was her leadership and strength that made the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians a successful Tribal government for its members, as well as building the Augustine Casino, and numerous other projects, to ensure the economic success and longevity of the Tribe. Through her efforts, the Tribe has become one of the largest employers in the lower Coachella Valley and improved the well-being of those associates and their communities. It was her heart, kindness, and compassion that drove the spirit of giving that the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians became known for under Mary Ann’s leadership. Her impact on those who knew her, as well as the communities they live in, will be felt for years to come.
An all-night wake is planned for Friday, January 20 at the Torres-Martinez Great Hall and Gymnasium in Thermal. A private graveside funeral service will follow Saturday, January 21 at the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians’ Tribal Cemetery in Coachella.