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California Indian Tribes

 Native American Nations | A Century of Dishonor                     

 

The tribes in California are the Ukie, Pitt River, Wylackie, Concon, Redwood, Humboldt, Hoonsolton, Miscott, Siah, Tule, Tejon, Coahuila, King's River, and various other bands and tribes, including the "Mission Indians," all being native to the country.

Round Valley Agency.
The Indians belonging to this agency are the Ukies, Conoons, Pitt Rivers, Wylackie, and Redwoods, numbering in all 1700. The number has been increased during the past year by bringing in 1040 Indians collected in Little Lake and other valleys. A reservation containing 31,683 acres has been set apart, per Act of April 8th, 1864, and Executive order of March 30th, 1870, in the western and northern part of the State, fin. these Indians, and for such others as may be induced to locate thereon. The lands in the reservation are very fertile; and the climate admits of a widely varied growth of crops. More produoe being raised than is necessary for the subsistence of the Indians, the proceeds derived from the sale of the surplus are used in purchasing stock and work animals, and for the further improvement of the reservation. Several of the Indians are engaged in cultivating gardens, while others work as many as twenty-five or thirty acres on their own account.
The Indians on this reservation are uniformly quiet and peaceable, notwithstanding that they are much disturbed by the white trespassers. Suits, by direction of the Department, were commenced against such trespassers, but without definite results as yet; the Attorney-general having directed the United States District-attorney to suspend proceedings. Of this reservation the Indian Department has in actual possession and under fence only about 4000 acres; the remainder being in the possession of settlers, all clamorous for breaking up the reservation and driving the Indians out.

The Indians at this reservation have shown no especial disposition to have their children educated; and no steps were taken to that end until in the summer of 1871, when a school was commenced. There is now one school in operation, with an attendance of 110 scholars. These Indians have no treaties with the Government; and such assistance as is rendered them in the shape of clothing, etc., is from the money appropriated for the general incidental expenses of the Indian service in the State.

Hoopa Valley Agency
The Indians belonging to this agency are the Humboldt, Hoonsolton, Miscott, Siah, and several other bands, numbering 725.

A reservation was set apart, per Act of April 8th, 1864, for these and such other Indians in the northern part of the State as might be induced to settle thereon. This reservation is situated in the north-western part of the State, on both sides of the Trinity River, and contains 38,400 acres. As a rule, sufficient is raised on the reservation to supply the wants of the Indians. These Indians are quiet and peaceable, and are not disposed to labor on the reservation in common, but will work industriously when allowed to do so on their own individual account. One school is in operation on the reservation, with an attendance of seventy-four scholars. Having no treaty relations with the United States, and, consequently, no regular annuities appropriated for their benefit, the general incidental fund of the State is used so far as may be necessary, and so far as the amount appropriated will admit, to furnish assistance in the shape of clothing, agricultural implements, seeds, etc. Besides these, their agent has a general supervisory control of oertain
Klamath Indians, who live adjacent to tip reservation and along the banks of the Klamath River. These formerly belonged to a reservation bearing their name, which was, years ago, abandoned in consequence of the total destruction by flood of agency buildings and improvements. They now support themselves chiefly by hunting and fishing, and by cultivating small patches in grain and vegetables.

Tule River Farm, or Agency
The Indians located at this point are the Tule and Manache, numbering 374. These Indians are gradually improving, are quite proficient in all kinds of farm-work, and show a good disposition to cultivate the soil on their own account. There is one school in operation at the Tule River Farm, with an attendance of thirty-seven scholars. About sixty miles from the agency reside several hundred King's River Indians, who are in a wretched and destitute condition. They de-she to be attached to the agency, and have in the past received occasional supplies of food from it.

Indians not on Reservations
In addition to the Indians located at the three agencies named, there are probably not less than 20,000, including the Mission Indians (so called), the Coahuila, Owen's River, and others, in the southern part of the State; and those on the Klamath, Trinity, Scott, and Salmon rivers, in the northern part. The Mission Indians, having been for the past century under the Catholic missions established on the California coast, are tolerably well advanced in agriculture, and compare favorably with the most highly civilized tribes of the east. The Coahuila, and others inhabiting the south eastern and eastern portions of the State, and those in the north, support themselves by working for white settlers, or by hunting, fishing, begging, and stealing, except, it may be, a few of the northern Indians, who go occasionally to the reservations and the military posts in that section for assistance in the way of food.

There are also about 4000 Owen's River and Manache Indians east of the Sierras, whom the settlers would gladly see removed to a reservation, and brought under the care of an agent. The Department has under consideration the propriety of establishing a new reservation, upon which shall be concentrated these and numerous other Indians, in which event the Tule River Agency could advantageously be discontinued.

 


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A Century of Dishonor, By Helen Hunt Jackson, New York, Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1885

A Century of Dishonor

 

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