Wiyot Tribe

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Wiyot Tribe
Seth Kinman Table Bluff Home.jpg
Houses on Table Bluff in Humboldt Bay
Total population
97 enrolled members[1]
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( California)
Languages
English, formerly Wiyot[2]
Religion
traditional tribal religion[3]
Related ethnic groups
other Wiyot people,[4] Yurok people[3][5]

The Wiyot Tribe is a federally recognized tribe of Wiyot people. They are the aboriginal people of Humboldt Bay, Mad River, and lower Eel River.[5][6]

Other Wiyot people are enrolled in the Blue Lake Rancheria, Rohnerville Rancheria, and Trinidad Rancherias.[1][7]

Reservation[edit]

The Wiyot Reservation or Table Bluff Rancheria is located 16 miles south of Eureka, California.[8] The reservation is 88-acres large with 550 Indian residents.[6] It was established in 1908, when a church donated 20 acres of land to the Wiyots. The rancheria was formally recognized by the government in 1981 and 102 acres was purchased for the tribe.[5] The rancheria is a locality in Humboldt County, California. It lies at an elevation of 236 feet (72 m).[9] The land is also known as the "Old Reservation" for the Wiyot.[10]

Government[edit]

The Wiyot Tribe is headquartered in Loleta, California. The tribe is governed by a democratically-elected, seven-member tribal council. The current tribal administration is as follows:

  • Tribal Chair: Ted Hernandez
  • Vice Chairperson: Brian Mead
  • Secretary: Leona Wilkinson
  • Treasurer: Michelle Hernandez
  • Councilperson: Vincent DiMarzo
  • Councilperson: Ardith Huber
  • Councilperson: Cheryl Seidner.[11]

Language[edit]

English is commonly spoken by the tribe. The Wiyot language belongs to the Ritwan branch of Algic languages. The language is written in the Latin script, and a dictionary and grammar has been published for Wiyot.[2] The last fluent speaker of Wiyot died in 1962.[5]

History[edit]

Prior to European contact, Wiyot people numbered approximately 2,000. They first encountered Europeans in 1802. Non-native settlers overrun Wiyote lands during the California Gold Rush during 1849. Wiyots were killed in the Rogue River Indian War in 1852.[3] On 26 February 1860, as the Wiyote people were celebrating their world renewal ceremony European-American people ambushed Wiyot elders, women, and children in the (Wiyot Massacre, now know as the Indian Island Massacre) on what is now Gunther Island. The young men were off collecting supplies for the next days ceremony leaving the village defenseless, allowing for a group of men from Eureka (who had been planning the massacre) to row across the bay with any silent weapon they could carry (to not alarm the nearby city). When the men came back their familys were piled up, there was only one survivor an infant hidden. There were 2 other villages massacred that night. Post massacre numbers were estimated to be around 200.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "California Indians and Their Reservations." SDSU. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Wiyot." Ethnologue. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Pritzker 154
  4. ^ Pritzker 261
  5. ^ a b c d "Wiyot." Four Directions Institute. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
  6. ^ a b "The Wiyot Tribe." Humboldt State University. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
  7. ^ Pritzker 155
  8. ^ "Table Bluff Reservation—Wiyot Tribe." United Indian health Services. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Table Bluff Rancheria
  10. ^ Fraley, Briannon (2009). Culture. Wiyot Tribe. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  11. ^ "Council." Wiyot Tribe. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.

References[edit]

  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°41′02″N 124°14′44″W / 40.68389°N 124.24556°W / 40.68389; -124.24556