Bishop Paiute Tribe


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The Bishop Paiute Tribe is a federally recognized indian tribe in California, located at the foot of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. They are the fifth largest tribe in California with around 2,000 enrolled members.

The Paiute people who live on the Bishop Paiute Reservation are descendants of the “Nu-Mu”, the original people of the Owens Valley.

Official Tribal Name: Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony

Address:  50 Tu Su Lane, Bishop, CA 93514
Phone: 760.873.3584
Fax: 760.873.4143
Email: Contact Form

Official Website

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning: Nu-Mu, meaning original people.

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Formerly known as the Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony

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Region: California

State(s) Today: California

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Confederacy: Paiute


Reservation: Bishop Reservation

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Registered Population Today: About 2,000 members.

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

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Membership requirement is having lineal decendency from someone named on the July 1996 Base Roll. No specific blood quantum is required, but enrollment applications are subject to a review and acceptance by a 5 member Enrollment Committee, which is elected to two year terms.

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Name of Governing Body:  Tribal Council
Number of Council members:  5 members elected by the General Council
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Number of Executive Officers:  Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary-Treasurer


Language Classification and Dialects:

The Bishop Community traditionally spoke both the Timbisha language and Mono language, both of which are part of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Timbisha is in the Central Numic and Mono is in the Western Numic divisions. 

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Tribe History:

The Paiute people who live on the Bishop Paiute Reservation are descendants of the “Nu-Mu”, the original people of the Owens Valley.

In 1912, the U.S. Government reserved over 67,000 acres of lands in the Owens Valley for the Indians of this area. In 1932, President Hoover revoked the 67,000 acres of reserved land and placed the lands in watershed protection status for the City of Los Angeles. I

n 1936, the City of Los Angeles wanted the remaining lands and the federal government traded these lands for the 875 acres that now comprise the Bishop Paiute Reservation located at the base of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Today, the Bishop Paiute Tribe is the fifth largest California Tribe, with one of the smallest land bases. Despite the land predicament, the Tribal government has upgraded technical capabilities and developed infrastructure for the present and future growth of the Bishop Paiute Reservation.

In the News:

Further Reading:

Sarah Winnemucca -The Paiute Princess
Wovoka and the Ghost Dance
The Paiute Indian Nation
Deadliest Indian War in the West