Yomba Reservation, home to Western Shoshone

898 Views

Last Updated: 6 years

The Yomba Reservation in central Nevada is home to Western Shoshone people of the Yomba Shoshone Tribe.

The Yomba Shoshone Tribe of the Yomba Reservation is one of several bands of Western Shoshone peoples.

Yomba is the Shoshone name for “wild carrot.” Wild carrot is plentiful throughout the Reese River Valley, where the Yomba reside. The residents chose this name for their tribe in the 1930s.

The Reese River Valley is surprisingly diverse in plants and animals, especially considering the relatively small area it covers. The surrounding mountains also lend more diversity to the valley.

No paved roads connect the Yomba Reservation to the outside world. Route 21 is a gravel road, which becomes impassible in extreme weather conditions.The Reese River Valley is a very isolated place located within the Toiyabe National Forest. One of the closest towns, Ione, is 9 miles away. However, Ione is actually a ghost town with only a single convenience store.

History:

The Reese River Valley was an important thoroughfare during the Gold Rush. 

When European settlers first discovered gold out west, many of them traveled through the Shoshone’s territory to reach California, which had a profound impact on the area. Some of the travelers also settled permanently in the area.

Creeks and rivers were diverted for the irrigation of new ranches, which permanently affected the plants and animals of the area, making it even more difficult for the Shoshone to survive traditionally. The new inhabitants also brought conflict and disease.

Between 1951 to 1968, land near the Yomba Reservation was subject to above-ground nuclear testing.

The stories that residents and former residents have shared aren’t exactly uplifting – many people, and animals, died of cancer and other ailments, almost certainly related to the nuclear tests that occurred nearby.

People who were interviewed told stories of hunting deer, only to find that the animal’s insides were black. Other accounts noted that previously healthy residents suddenly became extremely ill with colon cancer, thyroid cancer, and more.

Establishment:

18 June, 1934 – By Authorization of the Indian Organization Act (48 Stat. 984) the following were purchased.
10 July, 1937 – 1,560.86 acres 
12 November, 1937 – 2,200.72 acres 
01 November, 1940 – 480 acres 
28 February, 1941 – 476.91 acres

Location:

Approximately fifty-five miles South by improved State Route 21, of Austin at Reese River, Nye County, Nevada.

The Yomba Reservation is divided into two districts: the Upper, including Doyle Ranch, and Lower, including Bowler Ranch.

Acreage:

The Yomba Reservation contains 4,718.49 acres of Tribal Land. 

Government:

Organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 18 June 1934 (48 Stat. 984) as amended. Constitution and By-Laws of the Yomba Shoshone Tribe, approved 20 December, 1939.

The tribe is governed by a democratically elected, six-person tribal council. 

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

Jurisdiction:

Federal

Enrollment Requirements:

Tribal enrollment as a member requires a one-half degree Shoshone blood quantum (equivalent to one parent), among the highest blood quantum requirements of any tribe.

Contact Info:

HC 61 Box 6275
Austin, Nevada 89310 
Telephone: (702) 964-2463 
Fax:(702) 964-2443