The northwestern California Indians have cultural ties with the Northwest . The southern California Indians are culturally linked with the Southwest. Follow the links below to learn more about California Rancheria Indians. Also see California Tribes and California Mission Indians.
Between 1851 and 1852, 18 treaties were negotiated between the United States Government and more than 100 California Indian Tribes and Bands. The treaties called for reservations of more than eight million acres for the tribes. However, on July 8, 1952, the U.S. Senate secretly rejected the treaties and from 1852 to 1854 Indian Tribes were forcibly removed to temporary reservations.
In the early 1900s a researcher discovered the unratified treaties and reformers petitioned Congress to appropriate money to provide land for the homeless Native Americans of California. Congress appropriated the money to purchase 9,000 acres of land that became 50 separate Rancherias.
Originally the small pieces of land or ranches were intended to provide housing for homeless and landless adult Indians. It was not intended to be reservations for separate tribal governments. Instead of getting their own reservations, some Indian Nations were splintered into tiny postage stamp bands that lumped together Indians from different tribes. Despite the obvious obstacles, many of the Rancherias, as they came to be known, petitioned for federal recognition.
In 1953, the California Rancheria Act called for the termination of federal trusteeship for Indians in California. During this period, 38 tribes were terminated in California and tribal members were encouraged to sign away their official status in efforts to assimilate Indians into "mainstream" society.
The Indian Self Determination and Education Act of 1973 allowed tribes and rancherias to regain federal recognition and today 104 tribes are recognized in California with over 50% being Rancherias.