​​Ernest H. SivaErnest H. Siva

Elder, Morongo Band of Mission Indians

California State University, San Bernardino

Mr. Ernest H. Siva is a respected elder of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, whose influence has enriched the lives of thousands in and outside the Inland Empire. He is central to the transmission of Indian culture through his exceptional work as a musician, extensive involvement in community life and education arts, and his service as a university teacher. Committed to preserving and transmitting the cultures of Southern California Native Americans to future generations, Mr. Siva has served as a distinguished guest artist and scholar in Native American culture at California State University, San Bernardino, where he taught courses in California indigenous cultures and languages.

One of the last remaining speakers of the Serrano language, he has served as tribal historian and cultural adviser for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians since 1996. He is on the board of directors of the California Indian Storytelling Association, board of directors of the Riverside Arts Council, and the CSUSB College of Arts and Letters Community Leaders Board. Mr. Siva holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in choral music from the University of Southern California. He is a past member of the board of governors of the National Association of Church Musicians and served as a choir director for several California cities. He is artistic director of the Pass Chorale, which performs music of the master composers.

Mr. Siva published Voices of the Flute, which includes songs of three Southern California Indian tribes, most of which have never been put into print or musical notation. Sharing his knowledge of Serrano and Cahuilla cultures, he co-founded the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center and Ushkana Press, dedicated to preserving the histories of endangered cultures, languages and arts. Mr. Siva and his wife, June, established the Siva Scholarship in music at CSU San Bernardino. They support the Thornton School of Music scholarship program at the University of Southern California, where they are USC Galen Founders.

In recognition of his many accomplishments and extensive contributions to the community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Bernardino are proud to confer on Ernest H. Siva the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.