The History of Indian Reservations in California
This sign is outside the Tribal Offices at the Round Valley Resevation, Covello, California
The territory that is now California was inhabited, throughout, by a wide variety of individual tribes. In the northern California mountains and foothills surrounding the vast central plain, independent groups lived peaceful lives gathering the natural bounty specific to their own geographic area.
1849, Gold was discovered at Sutter's Fort. By 1850, California became a state.
În order to facilitate the settlement of the new territory by Americans, Congress authorized Indian Agents to make treaties of "peace and friendship" with the aboriginal peoples. There were 18 treaties drafted in 1851 and 1852. Each of these treaties set aside specific tracts of land that were to be for the exclusive use of the Indians. These tracts of land would have become the Indian Reservations of California except, Congress refused to ratify any of these treaties and placed an injunction of secrecy upon them. They remained sequestered in the archives of Congress until 1904.
October 1852, Edward Beale, Superintendent of California Indians, submitted to Congress his plan for 5 military reservations. Congress later authorized $250,000.00 for the formation of them.
September 1853, Beale and BD Wilson establish the Tejon Reservation in southern California.
July 21, 1854, Thomas J Henley replaces Beale as Superintendent. Henley eventually establishes 4 more reservations: Fresno; Nome Lackie Reserve in the Upper Sacramento Valley; On both sides of Klamath River from its mouth to a distance of 20 miles; And below Cape Mendicino on the coast.
June 14, 1856, Simmon Storms, on orders from Henley claims all of Round Valley as "Nome Cult Valley" for the government. Nome Cult Farm formed as an extention of the Nome Lackie Reserve. Later became the Round Valley Reservation.
April 8, 1864, Round Valley Reserve, 102,118 19/100 acres, established by Act of Congress, Vol 13, p 30.
March 30, 1870, President US Grant declares by executive order, All of Round Valley as Reservation for the Indians. Further executive orders on April 8, 1873, May 18, 1875 and July 26, 1876.
March 3, 1873, Act of Congress, vol 17, p 634, restored northern boundry of Round Valley Reserve to the North Fork of Eel River.
1894 Allotment Act separated the Round Valley Reservation into parcels. Allotments were assigned in a checkerboard fashion to Indians with intervening lots available to whites.
The United States federal government has recognized tiny parcels known as rancherias. On the rancherias only a handful of persons and their descendents are recognized, leaving the majority without federal recognition. The ConCow Tribe that was on the Round Valley Reservation has lost its recognition as a tribe to the created Indian communities that are the rancherias and reservations of California.
Rancherias in Butte County: