Big Lagoon Rancheria

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Who are the Big Lagoon Indian Tribe?

The Big Lagoon Rancheria is a federally recognized tribe of Yurok and Tolowa Indians. 

Official Tribal Name: Big Lagoon Rancheria

Address:  P.O. Drawer 3060, Trinidad, CA 95570
Phone:  (707) 826-2079
Fax:  (707) 826-0495
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Federally Recognized

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Region: California

State(s) Today: California

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Reservation: Big Lagoon Rancheria
Land Area:  20 acres (81,000 m2)
Tribal Headquarters:  Arcata, California
Time Zone:  Pacific
B.I.A. Office:  California

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today: 24 tribal members

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:


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Tribal enrollment is based on a minimum of 1/8 blood quantum and lineal descent from the Plan of Distribution on the Assets of the Big Lagoon Rancheria, created January 3, 1968.

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The tribe was first recognized by the US federal government on July 10, 1918.
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Due to the highly sensitive environment of the reservation, the tribe has agreed with the state of California to not develop the reservation. Instead the tribe has partnered with the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians to operate the Barstow Casino and Resort in Barstow, California.

The historical Arcata Hotel in Arcata is owned and operated by the Big Lagoon Rancheria.

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Further Reading:

Digger: The Tragic Fate of the California Indians from the Missions to the Gold Rush
An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources
Indians of California: The Changing Image