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Tribal grant to pay for health center at CGU

Claremont Graduate University has received a $14 million grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

The gift, scheduled to be announced Tuesday, will be used to buy the 23,000-square-foot Huntley Bookstore in the heart of the Claremont Colleges and convert the 50-year-old building into a health research center,  according to a statement.

The Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies will allow collaboration among Claremont Graduate researchers, scientists, and outside entities. All will address health issues common in the Inland Empire and among Native American tribes.

In both areas, residents often lack sufficient health care and historically have higher rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, mental health issues, and “lack of overall wellbeing”, according to the statement.

The gift, one of the largest in the university’s history, was first discussed last year but was delayed because of COVID-19. Research at the center will focus on helping to prevent a similar tragedy.

It’s our hope to eventually produce the kinds of research at this center that will help prepare everyone, especially our most vulnerable populations, for the challenges of another global crisis,” said Len Jessup, president of the university, in the statement.

The partnership between Claremont Graduate and the San Manuel began in 2006, when the university’s tribal administration, which provides management training for the tribe’s government and administration, was formed.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe located near Highland. It’s governed by a seven-member tribal council, and it owns and operates the San Manuel Casino, according to the tribal website.

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