Walker River Indian Reservation

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Last Updated: 6 years

The Walker River Indian Reservation is home to the Walker River Paiute Tribe, a federally recognized tribe of Northern Paiute people in central Nevada.

The tribe represents two Northern Paiute bands, the larger Aga’idökadö (Agai Ticutta) (“Cutthroat Trout Eaters”) and the smaller Pakwidökadö (Pugwi Ticutta)(“Chub Carp Eaters”).

History:

The current Reservation was a traditional wintering grounds for the Walker River Paiute Tribe (Numu people) due to the mild winters. The Numu (people) then migrated back to the Sierras for summer camps. 

The Paiute Indians were peaceful people and ruled over their own affairs. There was no need for chiefs since battles were almost non-existent. 

The Agai-Dicutta Numu (Trout Eaters People) Band of the Northern Paiute have lived within this area of the great Basin for tens of thousand of years. They lived in extended matrilineal groups within defined geographical areas. Inter-geographical seasonal gatherings occurred when various bands came together for food gathering and ceremonies. 

The people lived in small shelters and cooked their food on open fires and in underground ovens.

The diet of the Agai-Dicutta Numu came primarily from the trout that was abundant in the Walker River and Walker Lake. The Weber Reservoir still provides trout, bass, catfish, crappies, and other species of fish.

Their diet also included small game such as geese, mud hen ducks, wild jack rabbits, prairie dogs, ground hogs, and some larger game like deer, antelope, and mountain sheep. This was suplemented with seeds from waigrass, taboosi, and pine nuts, and buck berries, and thorn berries (hu pwi) that were found in the desert land.

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the Indians began farming. A cattle herd was purchased and crops of alfalfa were grown and harvested. 

Establishment:

19 March, 1859 – By Executive Order 
07 February, 1887 – General Allotment Act (24 Stat. 388)
27 May, 1902 – (32 Stat. 245-260) 
15 March, 1918 – Executive Order #2820 
03 March, 1928 – (45 Stat. 1 60) 
26 June, 1936 – Public Law 74-748 (48 Stat. 1806) 
19 June, 1972 – By Authority of the Act of 22 June, 1936 (49 Stat. 1806) 
supplemented by the Act of 14 September, 1961 (75 Stat. 409) 

Location:

The reservation is located along the Walker River between Yerington and Walker Lake (in Northern Paiute: Hagi). At the current lake level, the reservation has only a small frontage on Walker Lake. The bulk of the reservation (72.68%) is in Mineral County; with portions in Lyon County (14.37%) and Churchill County(12.95%), Nevada.

 The present Reservation encompasses a high desert land base and is surrounded by mountains, desert lakes, and marshland/wetlands. 

Acreage:

42,880 acres of Tribal Land – Churchill 
45,835 acres of Tribal Land – Lyon
224,975.34 acres of Tribal Land -Mineral 
1,470 acres of allotted land – Lyon 
7,261.78 acres of allotted land – Mineral 
320 acres of Govt.-owned land – Lyon 
644.23 acres of Govt.-owned land – Mineral 

Government:

Organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 18 June 1934 (48 Stat. 984) as amended. Constitution and By-Laws of the Walker River Paiute Tribe approved 26 March, 1937

B.I.A. Agency:
Western Nevada Agency
Carson City, Nevada 89701 Phone:(702) 887-3500

Jurisdiction:

Federal

Economy:

Most of the reservation is used for cattle ranching. Weber Reservoir, an impoundment of the Walker River, is located upstream of Schurz and provides irrigation water for farms on the reservation.  Alfalfa is the major crop.

The only town on the Reservation is Schurz, Nevada where the intersection of U.S. Highway 95 and 95-A (major routes running north and south) meet. 

Famous Paiute

Contact Info:

P.O. Box 220
Schurz, Nevada 89427 
Telephone: (702) 773-2306
Fax:(702) 773-2585