The acorn is not only a cultural food source, but it is also a symbol.  As a seed… a mighty Oak tree can grow.  Our values are like the acorn seed.  If they are allowed to grow inside each of us, our nature and status within the tribe can be like that of the mighty Oak tree.

Native American values among all the tribes are not all the same.  There maybe similarities but each tribe prescribes their own values and they are taught not by reading of a book or some self help “how-to-manual”, but by being taught by fellow family and tribal members.  We of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe would like to share our concepts of culture and our values with you.  We believe that we carry these values because they are “valuable” to keep, and thus give away…

Core Values

  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Loyalty
  • Giving


  • We believe in the extended family.  Aunts, uncles and an endless line of cousins not only make our family, but also make up our community as well.  Friends of the family are often included in family matters.
  • People are valued more than any material thing.  Children and Elders alike are respected and useful, not to be thrown away.
  • We believe in noninterference in other’s lives and in the choices they make for themselves.
  • Leadership is chosen through past performance.
  • Humor, self “humiliation” is funnier than humiliating someone else.

Self Values

  • Possessions are temporary and are given freely to those in need.
  • Security comes from having the ability to provide for the family.
  • Patient because we live now and not in the future.
  • Live in harmony with nature because we are part of nature.  All things are created equal.

What are the Anti-Values?

  • Lying
  • Disrespect
  • Greed and Selfishness
  • Abuse of the family– especially of elders and children.

Our children and our elders are our treasure.  We, as a tribe of people are members of a Nation of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe and we are also citizens of the State of California (the State of California Constitution was drafted on our original homeland), and also the United States of America.  Many of our tribal members are veterans of all services of the United States Armed Forces and have proudly fought for the continued freedom of this land.  (By the way… One out of every four Indian males is a military veteran and 45 to 47 percent of tribal leaders today are military veterans.  Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs Webpage FAQ)

Many of our children, to whom we shall trust our future look up to our elders as role models.  Presented here are some of our tribal treasures that not only serve as role models to our children, but to the cultures of our neighbors as well.

Role Models

Tony Cerda – Tony Cerda is currently the Tribal Chairman.  He has had a long career in the field of professional boxing.