Redwood Valley Rancheria

The Redwood Valley Rancheria (also called Redwood Valley Reservation) is the land reservation where the Native American community known as The Redwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians resides. It is located northeast of the town of Redwood Valley in Mendocino County, California.

Location and land status

The reservation spans 177 acres (0.7 km2) on the northeastern side of the Russian River Valley. The terrain is forested and mountainous with some river and streams. The area is in a mild and transitional climate between coastal and interior valleys. Rainfall averages 35 inches (890 mm) per year.

The reservation land was purchased by the United States government on July 19, 1909, but the rancheria terminated on August 1, 1961, along with 43 other California rancherias, according to the California Rancheria Act of 1958.

In the mid-1970s, Redwood Valley Reservation, along with 16 other Native American communities, filed a lawsuit with the United States government seeking federal re-recognition in a case known as Tillie Hardwick v. United States of America. In 1983, the communities won the lawsuit.

Since then, the Redwood Valley Reservation has acquired 170 acres (0.7 km2), held in trust by the United States government since 1985.

Culture and History

The Redwood Valley Pomo once lived in the Little River area northeast of the Clear Lake region. The arrival of European settlers in the 19th century displaced most Pomo people from their native lands.

In the early 1900s, Congress authorized an investigation of the living conditions of landless Indians. Congress set apart and purchased small parcels of lands as Indian Reservations (often called rancherias in California) for Native American people. Between 1906 and 1913 an attorney from San Jose, C.E. Kelsey personally oversaw the purchase of land in northern and central California pursuant to the acts, including the land for the Redwood Valley Rancheria.

The Rancheria was active until 1958, when it was terminated by the California Rancheria Act of 1958. At its termination many tribal members from Redwood Valley migrated to surrounding towns and cities in search of employment, while only a few Native American families on the rancheria. However, the rancheria was reinstituted in 1983, and since then the tribe has formed a tribal government, acquired a land-base, and began an economic-development program.


On June 20, 1987, The Redwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians was formed with a constitution and bylaws, according to the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. This tribe now governs the Redwood Valley Rancheria by a General Council, who elects a seven-member Tribal Council. The tribe is federally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

See also

Other current Pomo communities in Mendocino County:


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