The Redding Rancheria is a federal reservation in Shasta County, northern California, United States. They are a leader in the development of their people in their traditional homelands. The Bureau of Indian Affairs purchased the land that is now considered the Redding Rancheria in 1922. The purpose of this purchase was to provide a place for homeless Indians to camp and live.
The Redding Rancheria consists of Wintu, Achomawi (Pit River), and Yana Indians. Redding Rancheria was recognized as a tribe following a four-year lawsuit filed by Tillie Hardwick in 1979. It is located in the northern Sacramento Valley, near Redding.
The Redding Rancheria has a constitution adopted in 1989 signed by Bob Foreman the First tribal chairman, and is governed by a democratically elected, seven (7) Councilors and three (3) Alternate Councilors elected by the Redding Rancheria membership. The current tribal administration is as follows.
- Tribal Chairman – Jack Potter Jr.
- Vice Chairman – Tony Hayward Sr.
- Secretary – Patty Spaulding
- Treasurer – Hope Wilkes
- Council Member – Michelle Hayward
- Council Member – Don Benner
- Council Member – Jason Hayward Jr.
- 1st Alternate – Leon Benner
- 2nd Alternate – Jason Hart
- 3rd Alternate – Dani Hayward
The Redding Rancheria's constitution that was written in 1989 states that it shall consist of all lineal descents of the 17 original distributees. These Original distributees are listed on the plan of distribution dated Oct. 8th 1959 which furthermore made the land a reservation. In 2002 the lineage of the Foreman family was in question following a letter from a dying elder expressing that the late Virginia Timmons didn't have children. Meaning the enrollment of Lorena, once a member of the tribal council, along with the descendants was being challenged.In September of 2003, the tribe held an evidentiary hearing and later an anonymous vote by all adult members of the tribe. The constituition states (All members of the Redding Rancheria who are eighteen (18) years of age or older shall be qualified voters in elections and General Meetings) although this was not the case for the descendants of Timmons as the family was not given the chance to vote on the disenrollment.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, wrote a letter in support of the family to the tribe and tribal chair Tracy Edwards. The letter–a rare bit of support from the federal government and glimmer of hope for disenrollees–still wasn’t enough. Even with the mountain of evidence the Redding Rancheria was still requiring DNA.
The Foremans presented family records, witnesses, testimony from two anthropologists specializing in California Native Americans and proof that their family members' names were listed as related on the 1928 California Judgement roll (a state census that recorded all Native people). The family contacted a world renowned DNA scientist, known for helping to identify victims of the 9/11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. Virgina Timmons, the family’s matriarch whose belonging to the tribe was undisputed, was the first to be exhumed. She had been buried so long that they were unsure if a DNA sample could be obtained, but a bone sample yielded some. Virginia’s DNA was tested against a living descendant. The results came back 99.9% positive. The DNA results were presented to the tribe. The Foremans thought it was bulletproof. But after two years of fighting, the family was notified that they would officially be disenrolled following a vote from the general tribe.
- Redding Rancheria website
- Redding Rancheria Disenrollment
- The Redding Rancheria Documentary: "With the Strength of our Ancestors" — on Redding Rancheria's website.
- Trail Of Tears- Foreman Family
- L.A. Times Article - Redding Rancheria