Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California

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Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California
Total population
Regions with significant populations
United States (California)
English, Pomoan languages
Traditional Tribal religion, Christianity, Kuksu
Related ethnic groups
Pomo tribes

The Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California is a federally recognized tribe of Pomo Indians in California.

The tribe's reservation, the Sherwood Valley Rancheria, is located in Mendocino County, near Willits, California, on Highway 101. It is 356 acres (1.44 km2) large. The lands on the reservation are called the old and new rancheria.[1]


Sherwood Valley Rancheria is a community of Coastal Pomo Indians, who are indigenous to Sonoma and Mendocino Counties in northern California. Their historical community was called Kulá Kai Pomo, and they traditionally lived along the upper course of the Eel River. They spoke the Pomo language. The last traditional chief of the Kulá Kai Pomo was Lunkaya.[2]

Companies of explorers in nineteenth century Russian expeditions were the first non-Indians with whom the Pomo made contact. Russian outposts were established in the 1800s, including Fort Ross in Sonoma County. When the Russians withdrew, their presence was replaced by increasing numbers of European-Americans that came to aboriginal Pomo lands to mine gold in the mid-nineteenth century California Gold Rush. Pomo tribes in California were forcefully removed from their historic lands for miner settlement and profit.[3] Pomo Indians were removed to small reservations, or rancherias, that were established by the US government for displaced Californian tribes, including the Sherwood Valley Rancheria.


Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians has over 450 enrolled members with 179 members residing on reservation land.[1] The tribe owns Sherwood Valley Rancheria Casino and Creekside Cafe, formerly known as the Black Bart Casino, in Willits on land purchased by the tribe in 1987.[4]

They are a member of the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council which is a consortium of Northern California tribal nations focused on environmental and cultural preservation.[5] The council, which includes members of 10 federally recognized tribes in Mendocino and Lake counties, has worked to protect lands of cultural importance along the North Coast within the traditional Sinkyone tribal territory since it was established in 1986.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c California Indians and Their Reservations. San Diego State University Library and Information Access. 2009 (retrieved 26 Feb 2009)
  2. ^ Anderson, Verle. People Called Pomo. (MS Word document) 9 June 2005 (retrieved 26 Feb 2009)
  3. ^ [1] "Killing California Indians: Genocide in the Gold Rush.", 2014
  4. ^ Sherwood Valley Rancheria Casino. (retrieved 11 June 2010)
  5. ^ Treisman, Rachel (2022-01-26). "A California redwood forest has officially been returned to a group of Native tribes". NPR. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
  6. ^ Green, Matthew (January 27, 2022). "'A Real Blessing': Tribal Group Reclaims More Than 500 Acres of Northern California Redwoods". KQED. Retrieved 2022-01-29.

Coordinates: 39°32′13″N 123°29′18″W / 39.53694°N 123.48833°W / 39.53694; -123.48833