Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation


Last Updated: 5 years

The Duckwater Shoshone Tribe is a Western Shoshoni tribe. The Shoshoni controlled one of the most important east-west corridors in the West.

Official Tribal Name: Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation

Address: P.O. Box 140068, Duckwater, Nevada 89314
Phone: (702) 863-0227
Fax: (702) 863-0301

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:Tsaidüka, meaning “Eaters of tule.”

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Region: Great Basin 

State(s) Today: Nevada

Traditional Territory:

Confederacy: Shoshone


Reservation: Duckwater Reservation

The Duckwater Reservation was established in 1940, when the tribe purchased the 3,272-acre (13.24 km2) Florio Ranch and 21 families moved onto the land. In 1990, 288 tribal members lived on the reservation.
Land Area: 3, 814.52 acres of Tribal land. Located nineteen miles Northwest of Current, Nye County, Nevada on State Route 379.
Established: 13 November 1940 – By authority of Section 5, Indian Reorganization Act – 3,273.26 acres
22 December 1943 – Increased by the Act of 28 June 1941 (55 Stat. 303) 398.76 acres.
27 January 1955 – Increased by authority of the Indian Reorganization Act purchase of Nye County tax deed land 142.5 acres.

Tribal Headquarters:
Time Zone:
B.I.A.Agency: Eastern Nevada Agency, Elko, Nevada 89801 Phone:(702) 738-5165

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Charter: Organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 18 June 1934 (48 Stat. 984) as amended. Constitution and By-Laws of the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe approved 28 November 1940
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Number of Council members: 5 including the executive officers.
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
Number of Executive Officers: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary-Treasurer

Elections: Held annually, with staggered terms.

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Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Death Valley Timbisha Shoshone | Ely Shoshone Tribe | Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe | Ft. McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe | Winnemucca Colony | Yomba Shoshone Tribe | Reno/Sparks Indian Colony | Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians (comprised of the Battle Mountain Band, Elko Band, South Fork Band, and Wells Band)

Traditional Allies: Paiutes

Traditional Enemies:  Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Duckwater Annual  Festival, last weekend in June (35th Annual in 2012)
The Festival dates back thirty-five years and currently encompasses a Pee-Wee Rodeo on Friday afternoon, followed by the Grand Entry and Pow Wow and Hand Game Tournament beginning that evening.  Saturday morning kicks off with a Fun Run/Walk sponsored by the Health Department.  The days activities include Horseshoe Tournaments, Basketball and Volleyball Tournaments, Kids and Adult games, a Raffle, Handgames and Pow Wow, a Duckwater grown beef barbecue on Saturday afternoon and a live-band dance Saturday night.  Breakfast is available both Saturday and Sunday and camping on site is free.  Paid RV hookups available; however, there are only 5 spaces available and will be served on first come, first served basis. 

Legends / Oral Stories:

Legend describes a native species called “flying wolves.” These were wolves with wings that would swoop down and kill the unwary Indians. Thus, they always went out in pairs so one could watch for flying wolves.

Art & Crafts:






The Duckwater Shoshone were primarily hunter-gatherers, with limited agriculture. Traditionally, this band of Shoshone hunted near Railroad Valley in the summer and lived in conical-shaped houses in the mountains in the winter. They hunted ducks, sage grouse, prairie dogs, rabbits, ground squirrels, deer, and other big game. They cultivated Chenopodium and Mentzelia (Indian Rice Grass).

Commonly called goosefoot, the genus Chenopodium contains several plants of minor to moderate importance as food crops as leaf vegetables – used like the closely related spinach. This plant was important in the prevention of nutritional diseases like scurvy.

Economy Today:

The Tribe is primarily an agricultural community, drawing water from the largest geothermal hot spring located in the State of Nevada. The Duckwater Economic Development Corporation also operates several trucks hauling ore and lime for various mines in northeastern Nevada, and a small convenience store. The tribe also has a five unit RV park.

The tribe owns two greenhouses as part of the Duckwater Falls Nursery where they raise seedlings of native plant species. These plants are used by large mining operations like Newmont and Placer Dome in their land reclamation programs. 

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Wedding Customs


People  of Note:

Tina Manning (d. 1979) – Water rights activist

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