American Indian Studies
California Indians and their reservations: an online dictionary
Originally compiled by: Phillip White
California Indians: A-C
1. One of the two languages spoken by the Pit River Indians. Achumawi and Atsugewi are closely-related members of the Palaihnihan branch of the greater Hokan linguistic family.
2. Also, the Achumawi are the Pit River Indians, or "River People."
A group of Cahuilla Indians occupying a reservation in and around the city of Palm Springs, in Riverside County. Also known as the Agua Caliente Band of Mission Indians of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. Total area is 31,610 acres. Tribal Enrollment is around 365. Total Population on the reservation is around 21,358 (Census 2000). Approximately 6,700 acres of the reservation lie within the city limits of Palm Springs, making the Agua Caliente band the city's largest landowner. In 1992 the tribe bought the Spa Hotel and Mineral Springs, an internationally renowned resort. The tribe also owns a network of canyons just southwest of Palm Springs called Indian Canyons, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and which is a popular tourist destination.
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has two casinos: the Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs, and the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage. Other forms of entertainment, education, and shopping offered for visitors include hiking, picnicking, and horseback riding in the Indian Canyons, hiking tours, the visitors' center with film and displays in Tahquitz Canyon, and the mineral springs spa and health facilities at the Spa Resort Hotel. The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in downtown Palm Springs offers films, exhibitions, traditional cultural activities and classes, and lecture programs. The tribe maintains a visitors' information center at the north end of Palm Springs. The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum has a library and research center with materials on the Agua Caliente, other Cahuilla bands, and other Native American indigenous peoples. It is open by appointment to the public. Museum staff can assist with research. The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is located at 219 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 in the Village Green Heritage Center; telephone number is (760) 323-0151. Museum Administration Offices are at 471 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Telephone number is (760) 788-1079.
The Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians is active in land planning and environmental and cultural resource protection and preservation. The Tribal Administration offices are located at 600 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262. The phone number is (760) 325-3400 or (800) 790-3398.
A group of languages spoken throughout large areas of eastern North America, but also spoken by two California tribes: the Wiyot and Yurok.
A federal reservation of Pit River (Achomawi) Indians in Modoc County, near Alturas, California. Total area is 20 acres, with a population of around 15. Paul Del Rosa, Chairman. P.O. Box 340, Alturas, CA 96101. Phone (530) 233-5571. Fax: (530) 233-3170.
A group of Ohlone Indians recognized by the state of California. Contact: Amah Mutsun Band of Mission Indians, 789 Canada Road, Woodside, CA 94062, (415) 851-7747.
A large language family spoken by peoples of northwestern California (Cahto, Chilula, Hupa, Mattole, Tolowa, Wailaki, and Whilkut) and the peoples of interior Alaska and northern Canada, as well as the Navajos and Apaches of the Southwest.
One of the two languages spoken by the Pit River Indian Tribe. Atsugewi and Achumawi are closely-related members of the Palaihnihan branch of the greater Hokan linguistic family
The Augustine Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians has a population of 5 tribal members, who have authority over the Augustine Reservation.
The Augustine Reservation of Cahuilla Indians is a one-square mile tract of land, about 500 acres, in the lower Coachella valley, in Riverside County, southern California, near the community of Thermal. Nearby is the neighboring Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians. The Reservation land had been unoccupied for more than 50 years, and the reservation had become an illegal dumping ground for household garbage, trash, appliances, animal carcasses, commercial waste, car batteries, and thousands of tires. In 1994, the U.S. Environmental Service, the California Conservation Corps, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, and the Riverside County Sheriff's office began assisting the Augustine Band in developing a cleanup plan. In 1996, Maryann Martin, the Chairperson of the Band, became the first member to establish residency on the reservation since the mid-1950's. The cleanup will be expensive and gradual, it seems. It is estimated that the cost of removing all waste, grading soil, and revegetating the site will be around $500,000. For further information on the cleanup effort, contact Karen Kupcha at (760) 365-1373.
Ancestors of Augustine Tribal members were Desert Cahuilla Indians who occupied the upper Colorado and Mojave Desert areas, including the Coachella Valley and Santa Rosa Mountains. The Augustine Band of Mission Indians was established by Executive Order on December 29,1981. The original Augustine Membership Roll of 11 persons was prepared and approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on April 13, 1956. The last surviving member, Roberta Ann Augustine, died on May 9, 1987, leaving three children and two grandchildren. Maryann Martin, one of her descendants, is the current Tribal Chairperson. Historically, the Cahuilla were divided into two moieties or groups of clans: the Wildcat and Coyote. They were further divided into approximately a dozen patrilineal clans, each having its own name, territory and common ancestry. In addition to the Augustine Band, other Cahuilla tribes in Southern California are the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs, the Cabazon Band, the Ramona Band of Mission Indians near Anza, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
Also known as Toloim, this is one of the three original autonomous bands of the Tubatulabal people, the others being Palagewan and Tubatulabal.
Another name for the Viejas Indian Reservation in San Diego County. See: website
A reservation of Kumeyaay (or, Diegueño) Indians in the mountain foothills of San Diego County, near Lakeside, California. Total area is 5,903 acres. Population is around 490. See: Barona Band of Mission Indians.
The Wiyot and Mattole Indians of the Rohnerville Rancheria. Contact: 32 Bear River Drive, Loleta, CA 95551
A federal reservation of Pauite Indians located on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Range in central California, in Mono County. This is about 10 miles from the Nevada border, near the city of Benton. Total area is 162.5 acres. Population is around 50. Contact: 567 Yellow Jacket Road, Benton, CA 93512; (760) 933-2321, (760) 933-2412 (fax), or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A federal reservation of Maidu Indians in Butte County, near the city of Oroville. The reservation lies within Berry Creek Canyon and at the base of the Sierra Nevada Range in north-central California. The Feather River is within a mile of the reservation. Total area is 65 acres. Tribal enrollment is around 304. Population on the reservation is around 136. Contact: 5 Tyme Way, Oroville, CA 95966, (916) 534-3859, fax (916) 534-1151.
A federal reservation of Pit River (Achomawi) Indians in Shasta County, near the town of Burney. The rancheria is located along the Pit River in the north-central part of the state, on the edge of the Shasta-Trinity National forest. Total area is 40 acres and population is around 10.
A federal reservation of Yurok and Tolowa Indians in Humboldt County, near the city of Trinidad. Total area is 20 acres. Population is about 24.
A federal reservation of Owens Valley Paiute Indians in Inyo County. Located in the high desert valley at the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada, the reservation is 18 miles from the town of Bishop. Total area today is 279 acres, serving a population of about 462 tribal members in the area. Contact: PO Box 700, Big Pine, CA 93513.
A federal reservation of Western Mono (Monache) Indians in Fresno County, near the town of Auberry. Total area is 228 acres. Tribal members in the area number around 96. See: Website. 37387 Auberry Mission Road, Auberry, CA 93602. Tel (559) 855-4003, Fax (559) 855-4129.
A federal reservation of Pomo and Pit River Indians in Lake County, near the town of Finley. Population is around 225. See: Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians
A federal reservation of Paiute Indians in Inyo County, near the city of Bishop. The reservation is located in Owens Valley at the easterly base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Total area is 877 acres. Population is around 1,441.
A federal reservation of Paiute Indians in Mono County, close to the Nevada border, adjacent to the community of Bridgeport. Total area is 40 acres, with around 100 tribal members in the area, and 43 on the reservation.
A federal reservation of Miwok (Mewuk) Indians in Ione, California, Amador County. See: Website
A federal reservation of Cahuilla Indians in Riverside, County, seven miles from the community of Indio and 18 miles from the city of Palm Springs. The total area is 1,706 acres, with around 38 tribal members in the area. The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians was the first of the tribes to establish high-stakes bingo in California. Its bingo hall and casino are located along Interstate 10. The population on the reservation is around 806.
The Band of Wintun Indians living on the Colusa Rancheria in central California near the Sacramento River. See: Website
An Athabascan group who inhabited the hills and oak savannahs of the coast range in the northwestern corner of California. Cahto is Northern Pomo for "lake," referring to an important Cahto village site, which in their language is Djilbi. The Cahto are sometimes referred to as Kaipomo Indians. Their language relates them distantly to the Athabascan peoples of the interior of Alaska and northern Canada, as well as to the Navajos and Apaches of the Southwest. In the early 18th century, around 1,100 Cahtos lived in their region in approximately 50 village sites. Their land today is the Laytonville Rancheria, with about 129 Cahto-Pomo people living there in 1990. A few Cahto also live on the Round Valley Reservation. However, most Cahtos today live in Mendocino County. See: Website. For pictures, see Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian and follow the link to Kato.
These people were traditionally located in the inland areas of southern California, generally south of the San Bernardino Mountains. The Cahuilla refer to themselves as Iviatim. The word Cahuilla is thought to have come from the tribal word Kawiya, meaning "master." They were divided into small groups or tribelets in the foothills, mountain regions, and partly in the desert lands east of the Sierra divide, into two broad groups called the Coyote and the Wildcat. They lived in about 50 villages aboriginally. The Cahuilla population may have numbered as many as 10,000 in the 17th century, with about 5,000 remaining by the late 18th century. Their language is from the Cupan subgroup of the Takic division of the Uto-Aztecan language family, which extends into the Southwest and central Mexico. Today Cahuilla people live on the reservations of Agua Caliente, Augustine, Cabazon, Cahuilla, Los Coyotes, Morongo, Ramona, Santa Rosa, Soboba, and Torres-Martinez. These are all bands of Mission Indians. In 1990, the total Indian population of all reservations on which Cahuilla lived was 1,276. See: Website
A federal reservation of Cahuilla Indians in Riverside County, near the city of Anza. Total area is 18,884 acres, with only 2,000 acres belonging to the tribe in common, the rest being assigned to individual members of the Cahuilla Band. The population on the reservation is around 154.
The new name of the Sheep Ranch Rancheria. California Valley Miwok Tribe, 10601 Escondido Pl. Stockton, CA 95212 (209) 931-4567. See: Website
The Kumeyaay (Diegueño) Indians of the Campo Reservation.
A federal reservation of Kumeyaay (Diegueño) Indians in southeastern San Diego County, near the community of Campo. Total area is 16,512 acres, with a population around 351. See: Campo Kumeyaay Nation Website
Although there are no present members of this band, these were the Kumeyaay (Diegueño) Indians of the Capitan Grande Reservation who were moved to other Kumeyaay reservations in San Diego County.
A federal reservation established for the Kumeyaay (Diegueño) Indians in eastern San Diego County, near the city of Alpine. Total area is 15,753 acres, with no inhabitants today. The County of San Diego built a reservoir on this land in 1931, and displaced the Kumeyaay to various reservation lands nearby. Today, the Capitan Grande Reservation is owned by Viejas, Barona, and other non-reservation groups.
A federal reservation of Northern Paiute Indians in Modoc County, near the town of Cedarville. Total area is 20 acres, with a population of about 26. See: Website
The southernmost group of the Southern Paiutes, closely related to those of southern Nevada. Their traditional language is from the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. They made their living either by desert hunting and gathering or by desert farming along the Colorado River in the Chemehuevi Valley. Today they live primarily on the Chemehuevi Reservation, with some also living on the Agua Caliente, Cabazon, Colorado River Indian Tribes, and Morongo reservations. See: Website.
A federal reservation of Chemehuevi Indians in San Bernardino County, on the shores of Lake Havasu. The reservation is in southeastern California on the Arizona border and the Colorado River, with 25 miles of the reservation boundary along the shores of the lake. The total area is 30,653 acres. The population is around 345, with a tribal enrollment of over 500. See: Website
A federal reservation of Mechoopda Maidu Indians in Butte County, near the city of Chico. Population is about 70. See: Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria.
A group of Athabascan peoples in the northwestern corner of the state, usually called Hupa Indians. The Chilula people today live mainly on the Hoopa Reservation. See: Hupa Indians
One of the contemporary Yokuts tribes. See: Yokuts Indians
For pictures, see: Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian
These Indian people originally occupied lands in southern California in the area of present-day Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. The Coastal Chumash were living in their traditional territory by approximately 1000 A.D. Traditionally, they lived in villages along the Pacific coast from San Luis Obispo to Malibu Canyon and inland as far as the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley. The Chumash are sometimes referred to as the Santa Barbara Indians. However, each Chumash regional group has its own name. They are composed of the Barbareno, Ynezeno, Ventureno, Obispeno, Purisimeno, and the Interior Chumash. At the time of first Spanish contact in 1542, the Chumash were one of the largest and most highly developed California tribes. Their traditional language is no longer spoken (the last native speaker of a Chumash language died in 1965), but was one of five closely related Hokan languages. Those along the coast obtained their food mainly from the sea, for which they developed sea-going canoes. They were the only California tribe to depend largely on ocean fishing for subsistence. The Chumash are known for their technological skill in constructing ocean-going canoes. They hunted on and around the Channel Islands as well as along the coast. The Chumash Tribe is also known for its aesthetic contributions in the form of baskets and shell and steatite objects. Five Spanish missions were established in Chumash territory, and soon the Chumash population was decimated, largely due to the introduction of European diseases. Population estimates of the Chumash before the Spanish arrived was as high as 22,000. In the late 18th century, Chumash population was between roughly 10,000 and 18,000. By 1831, the number of mission-registered Chumash numbered only 2,788. Today, about 213 Chumash people live on the Santa Ynez Indian Reservation, the only Chumash reservation, and others live in cities along the southern California coast.
A federal reservation in Sonoma County, near the city of Cloverdale. See: Cloverdale Rancheria Tribal page
A federal reservation of Western Mono Indians in Fresno County, in the foothills of the Sierras, near the town of Tollhouse. The rancheria is in the remote Sycamore Valley about 45 miles east of Fresno. Total area is 155 acres. Population is around 193, with a tribal enrollment of around 265.
A federal reservation of Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo Indians along the southern Colorado River near Parker, Arizona. Total area is 286,691 acres, with 226,000 acres in Arizona, and 42,700 acres in California. Population is around 1,735. See: Colorado River Indian Tribes Website
A federal reservation of Wintun Indians in Colusa County in central California. Total area is 573 acres, with 300 acres owned by the tribe and 273 acres held in trust by the U. S. government for the rancheria. The land is divided into two parcels about four miles apart for the reservation and the rancheria, serving the Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community. Population is around 77. See: Colusa Indian Community
A federal reservation of Wintun Indians in Colusa County, 70 miles northwest of Sacramento. Total area is 640 acres. Population is around 19, with a tribal enrollment of 117.
1. Costanoan is Spanish for "coast people." This term denotes a language family as well as a tribe. The Costanoan people are known as the Ohlone in their language. There are eight Ohlone groups, all culturally similar, but with eight different languages of the Penutian language family. There were around 10,000 Costanoans in the mid-18th century living in their traditional territory around the south of San Francisco and Monterey Bays and east to the central valleys. There were about 50 tribelets of Costanoans, aboriginally, with an average of about 200 people in each tribelet, although some had up to 500 people. Each tribelet was headed by a chief and a council of elders. The Costanoans were aggressive and engaged in warfare, using the bow and arrow. They took few captives, except women. By 1830, there were only about 2,500 Costanoans left, mainly due to infectious diseases, such as influenza, smallpox, and measles brought in by Europeans.
2. Costanoan - A group of eight languages belonging to the Penutian language family. All Costanoan languages are virtually extinct. See also: Ohlone
Not federally recognized, but recognized by the state of California as an Ohlone Indian group
This Tribe has filed for Federal recognition but it has been pending for years. See: Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe website
Comprised of the Indians of the Round Valley Reservation, which include members of the Nomlaki, Yuki, Wailaki, Konkow, Pit River, Achumawi, Pomo, and Wintun tribes.
A federal reservation of Pomo Indians in Mendocino County in northwestern California, 10 miles north of the town of Ukiah. Total area is 58 acres, with around 225 members in the area, and 104 on the reservation. The residents of the reservation are descendants of the Shodaki Pomo, who were living in the Coyote Valley in the early 1800s at the time of initial contact with whites. See: Coyote Valley Casino
Dedicated in 1974, the Cupa Cultural Center is the cultural museum and learning center on the Pala Indian Reservation for the Cupeño people.
A group of the Takic language, a subfamily of the greater Uto-Aztecan linguistic family. The Luiseño language is of the Cupan group.
Also known as Kuupangaxwichem. Cupeño is Spanish for "a person who comes from Kupa." These people traditionally occupied land where the present-day Warner's Ranch is located - 50 miles inland and 50 miles north of the current Mexican border, in the foothills of the Coast Range, in the mountainous area at the headwaters of the San Luis Rey River and the San Jose de Valle Valley. Their language belongs to the Cupan subgroup of the Takic family of the Uto-Aztecan languages, and is closely related to the Cahuilla language. A few people still speak the language today. Fewer than 750 Cupeños lived in their region in the mid-18th century. Today, most Cupeño people live on the Pala Reservation while some also live on the Morongo Reservation. By 1973 fewer than 150 people claimed Cupeño descent. Cupeño customs were derived from neighboring Cahuilla, Luiseño, and Ipai over the past 800 years or so. Around the turn of the 20th century, the Cupeños (250 or so) were forced by the government of California to move from their homes at Warner's Hot Springs to the Pala Reservation (which was Luiseño), awarding title to the Cupeño homeland at Warner's Springs to a man who was once governor of California. In 1903 a 3,438-acre ranch was purchased for the Cupeño at Pala Valley, now known as New Pala.
The Kumeyaay (Diegueño) Indians belonging to the Cuyapaipe Reservation. See: Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians