The recipient of a bachelor's in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Mark Macarro has served as tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians since 2002. Supplementing this role, Mark Macarro is a member of the board of governors for the National Congress of American Indians (NCIA).
Founded in 1944 by a group of 80 delegates representing 50 tribes across 27 states, NCAI operates under the mission of protecting and enhancing sovereign and treaty rights as well as securing traditional Native American laws and cultures. Since its creation, protecting the voting rights of Native Americans has also been at the forefront of its priorities, and today, the organization continues its work in that regard through its Native Vote nonpartisan initiative.
Native Vote coordinators are placed throughout the United States to revitalize civic engagement among Native Americans and encourage them to exercise their right to vote. The number of registered American Indian and Alaska Native voters rose from 1.9 million to 5.2 million between 1990 and 2010, but as of 2012, there were still 1 million eligible voters not registered.
As part of its campaign, Native Vote provides toolkits, webinars, and other resources to help mobilize local populations to participate in elections.
A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in political science, Mark Macarro served as an Electoral College Member and Platform Committee Member appointee for the Democratic Party in 2008. Since 2002, Mark Macarro has been a tribal chairman with the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, in addition to representing Pechanga in the National Congress of American Indians.
Established in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) protects the broad interests of American Indian and Alaskan tribal governments and communities. The organization’s valuable work includes a Policy Research Center (PRC) that conducts research and collects information to inform tribal leaders as they participate in public policy debates. The PRC’s diverse advisory council works closely with community partners to help leaders make strategically proactive policy decisions, all with the goal of improving the future for Native people. The PRC also focuses on supporting tribes as they grow their research capacity and create spaces for collaboration between researchers, tribes, and federal agencies
As one of California's most influential tribal leaders, Mark Macarro has been included among Capitol Weekly's list of the top 100 most powerful voices in California politics. For over 15 years, he has served as tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. As part of his activities supporting tribal communities, Mark Macarro recently spoke out against the reluctance of UC Berkeley and other academic institutions to return Native American remains and artifacts back to their respective tribes.
For nearly three decades, US law has required federally funded museums to share lists of the Native American remains and artifacts they have in their collections with the respective tribes. The law also gives tribal communities that are able to prove a connection to the remains and artifacts the right to repossess them so that they can be reburied with dignity on ancestral tribal land. In California, the federal law has been extended to state-funded institutions, such as colleges and universities.
Despite the extension of the law, some museums at California's academic institutions have been reluctant to return archaeological remains back to local tribes. One of the most notable examples is the Phoebe Hearst Museum at UC Berkeley, which has returned fewer than 300 out of the more than 9,000 bodies it holds in its collection.
Officials at Berkeley and other UC campuses have defended the slow rate of repatriation by citing the research value of the remains and claiming that further investigation is needed. Local tribal leaders see the situation quite differently, however. Native American representatives continue to fight for repatriation, which may see further support through recently passed California legislation that aims to give tribal communities equal representation on campus committees.
The tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Mark Macarro stands out as an influential figure in California state politics. Sacramento-based publication Capitol Weekly has for multiple years placed Mark Macarro in its list of the top 100 political figures in the state.
For more than a quarter of a century, Capitol Weekly has been required reading for Californians working in state government. The publication is part of Open California, a nonprofit organization that endeavors to keep Californians informed about state governance and public policy.
Founded in 2012, Open California also serves as a platform for engaging with political leaders. In pursuit of its mission, Open California publishes not only Capitol Weekly but also a political news compendium and a daily e-newsletter that reaches more than 6,000 subscribers.
In addition, Open California hosts a biweekly talk show and a quarterly conference series. Both the talk show and the conference series, which are broadcast on the statewide California Channel, examine important issues in California politics.
Open California operates because of the efforts of a small team of staff members and contributors. The organization also works with Sacramento State University and the University of California to provide valuable internships to a half-dozen aspiring journalists each year.
Mark Macarro has maintained leadership positions with the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians for more than two decades. As tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band, Mark Macarro serves as a representative of his tribe at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
Since its inception in 1944, NCAI has upheld the mission of preserving the rights and cultures of American Indians living across the United States. Additionally, the organization also focuses on enhancing the lives of the Native populations that it serves. NCAI continually works toward these goals by operating a number of campaigns that highlight and celebrate tribal heritage.
In 1968, NCAI established a campaign that aimed to bring attention to the harmful representations of Native individuals that permeate various aspects of popular culture. Known as the “Proud to Be” campaign, this initiative later expanded its focus to the “Indian” caricatures that many sports teams have used as mascots since the early 1960s.
Looking to abolish such portrayals of indigenous peoples, NCAI has sought to educate the public about the negative effects that these mascots can cause. The organization has found that, over the years, these representations have cultivated stereotypical views of Native people that have given rise to hate crimes and caused psychological harm among the population of Native youth.
Through its “Proud to Be” campaign, NCAI has garnered staggering support from both Native and non-Native communities. The initiative has encouraged all manner of tribal entities, schools, and sporting organizations to call for the eradication of “Indian” mascots. Through the dedication of NCAI and its supporters, the “Proud to Be” campaign has already eliminated more than 2,000 negative representations of Native peoples in the sporting world.
A California political figure, Mark Macarro is the tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. Mark Macarro serves as a board of governors member of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
The nonprofit NCAI was founded in 1944. It is the largest and most representative organization of American Indians and Alaska Natives. NCAI caters to the wide affairs of Native American Indian governments and communities. One of the organization’s initiatives is its partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to inform tribes about participating in the Environmental Information Exchange Network (EIEN) program.
EIEN is mutually presided by representatives from states, tribes, and the EPA. With the use of common data standards, the program’s objective is the sharing between territories, tribes, and states of data on health, geography, and the environment. The program aims to improve decision making by providing EIEN partners with environmental data that is accurate and reliable.
NCAI has a cooperative assistance agreement with EIEN that is intended to increase tribal environmental data monitoring awareness, capability, and sharing. The agreement will also enable NCAI to apprise EPA personnel and EIEN partners about tribal requirements and concerns in its EIEN involvement.
Marc Macarro was elected as a Councilman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in 1992, and he now serves the band as Chairman. A traditional Luiseño singer, Marc Macarro is called upon to perform ceremonial funeral songs at tribal wakes on Indian reservations.
The traditional melodies of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians are accompanied by rattles. The rattles maintain cadence within a song, directing singers to change from verse to refrain and dancers to begin dancing. The use of rattles in songs is complex, because different types of rattles are used for specific purposes, including singing to the deceased or for healing purposes. Musicians in the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians understand the rules governing the use of rattles before they use them in song. Unaccompanied rattles must be promptly handed over to a new owner, burned or buried.
Deer hooves, turtle shells, leather, fiber cordage, string, wire, silk moth cocoon, and hardwood such as red shank, manzanita, and chamise are some of the materials used in the rattle-making process. For the rattle to make a satisfactory noise inside, coyote seeds or small rocks may be used. Coyote seeds are manzanita seeds that have been eaten and recovered from a coyote’s scat. The small rocks placed inside the rattle are said to produce the sound of the earth.
Mark Macarro has been the Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians for 14 years.