Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation

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Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation
Total population
(1,609 enrolled members[1]
285 enrolled (1995))
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( California)
English, Tolowa[2]
Related ethnic groups
other Tolowa people,[2] Tututni and Chetco peoples[3]

The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, previously known as Smith River Rancheria,[4][5] is a federally recognized tribe of Tolowa people in Del Norte County, California.[6] They are Athabascan people, distantly related to northern Athabascans of eastern Alaska and western Canada, as well as the Apache and Navajo peoples of the American Southwest.[2]

As of the 2010 Census the population of this group was 113.[7] Tolowa people are also part of other federally recognized tribes in northern California and Oregon.


The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is headquartered in Smith River, California. They are governed by a democratically elected, seven-member tribal council. Their current tribal administration is as follows:

  • Chairperson: Loren Me'-lash-ne Bommelyn
  • Vice Chairperson: Denise Padgette
  • Secretary: Scott D. Sullivan
  • Treasurer: Dr. Joseph Giovannetti
  • Councilmember: Kara Brundin-Miller
  • Councilmember: Jeri Lynn Thompson
  • Councilmember: Marvin Richards, Sr.
  • Tribal Administrator: Russ Crabtree


The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is a 186-acre federal Indian reservation in Del Norte County, north of Crescent City.[6] The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation was established in 1906; their land used to consist of only 30-acres.[8] The nearest community is Smith River, while the nearest incorporated city is Brookings, Oregon, about 10 miles to the north. In 1862, the US Government established the Smith River Reservation, which was abandoned in 1868.

Economic development[edit]

The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation (formerly Smith River tribe) owns and operates the Lucky 7 Casino in Smith River, California.[9]

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ "About Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation." Smith River Rancheria. Retrieved 4 June 2015
  2. ^ a b c "Tolowa Indians." SDSU: California Indians and Their Reservations. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  3. ^ Pritzker 147
  4. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-04.  External link in |title= (help)
  5. ^ Triplicate, Laura. "Triplicate". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  6. ^ a b "Smith River Rancheria." SDSU: California Indians and Their Reservations. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Pritzker 148
  9. ^ "California Casinos - Indian Casinos by Tribe." 500 Nations. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  10. ^ Spencer, Adam (2012-04-28). "Tolowa mourn loss of a leader: Eunice Bommelyn". Del Norte Triplicate. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°57′09″N 124°12′23″W / 41.95250°N 124.20639°W / 41.95250; -124.20639