Originally published October 2, 2012 at 11:09 a.m., updated November 15, 2012 at 1:55 p.m.
Mr. Leroy Elliott is a tribal elder who has served his Native American tribe as their Chairman for the past 14 years. His tribe, the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, is an economically disadvantaged sovereign government assigned to reservation land in a remote area of the San Diego County backcountry.
Unemployment on the Manzanita reservation exceeds 50 percent and families live on less than half of what is considered the poverty level in the United States. In spite of these challenges, Chairman Elliott actively seeks and has secured revenue opportunities that provided much needed government services and job opportunities.
In addition to his duties as Tribal Chairman, Mr. Elliott is the Treasurer and a long standing Board member for the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association; the Chairman of the Southern California Indian Health Clinic; and a volunteer Assistant Fire Marshall for the Campo Fire department.
Mr. Elliott’s dedication to the preservation of his Native American heritage include his efforts to advocate for tribes in an effort to preserve cultural property, sacred sites, endangered species and critical habitat. Mr. Elliot was recently asked to be one of the distinguished greeters to the Dali Lama as the world famous spiritual leader visited San Diego State University.