In response to the Fresno Bee article, December 8, 2017, ..."Tribe fighting for custody of orphaned children might be Hawaiian, court papers say"

From the:  


DECEMBER 11, 2017

We the historic Nisenan-MeWuk of El Dorado County  are THE indigenous historic

El Dorado County 1934 IRA "Shingle Springs MeWuks".  We do NOT share "Miwok" Tribal membership or genealogy with the “Verona-Sacramento River Band” (a mixed group of Hawaiians and others)  who own the trademark of the  "RedHawk Casino" and are Defendants, calling themselves "Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians" in the  Renteria case. We do NOT support the “Sacramento-Verona Band’s” methods and activities.

Position Statement on Renteria Case [Fresno-Bee] . "We believe this is a

'Best Interest of the Child Case' and the girls should stay with their family.

Their family, their school and their friends are their support structure."


WE the historic Nisenan-MeWuk of El Dorado County have lived throughout our territory of

El Dorado County since time immoral through today. The historic MeWuk (Miwok/MeWok) are the signers of the 1851 Consumnes River Treaty and witnesses to the Gold Rush in El Dorado County History. We have traced our family history records back to the 1700's in El Dorado County.


As the Wo-pam-nes we resided throughout our ancestral territory of  El Dorado County and were known for a village at Shingle Springs, before the time of the Gold Rush and still reside in El Dorado County as off-reservation Indians here today.  The United States government purchased the two adjacent parcels of our ancestral lands (Lucy Thomas 80 acres 1915 and Meldrum/Cooper 160 acres 1918), combined them into the 240 acre "reservation" in the 1920 "BIA Land Register for El Dorado County" and named it the  “Shingle Springs Rancheria” for us the indigenous “MeWuk Tribe”. For decades both us and our surrounding El Dorado County Community referred to our  land base as the “Shingle Springs Reservation”.


>> EL DORADO COUNTY NISENAN-MEWUKS are VERY WELL DOCUMENTED in history books, anthropological studies, on censuses, and genealogically.

Ancestors of  all our Tribal Citizens can be found in the C.E. Kelsey California Census of Off-Reservation Indians, have BIA Identification papers with California Indian "Miwok" Roll numbers from the May 1928 CIJA and are still being served by the Federal Government as a Native Americans. When looking at the all the Federal Censuses of El Dorado County you can easily see that our Tribal families have had continuous residency in El Dorado County from before the days of the Gold Rush to the present.  


It was us, our DNA'd family Elders, who Voted in the Indian Reorganization Act (1934) for the Shingle Springs Rancheria, representing our mostly off-reservation Tribe living in our surrounding ancestral lands of El Dorado County; as it was us who resided on the Shingle Springs Rancheria from time immemorial as the “recognized tribe” of El Dorado County.  Though there were several Congressional Acts creating a budget for land improvements, the BIA left the Shingle Springs Rancheria landlocked and without utilities making it impractical for our off-reservation families to move onto the reservation.  In 1964 CalTrans surveyed the southern half of our Shingle Springs Reservation to build Highway 50. To wash their hands of the decisions to support our historic tribe, the BIA decided to split the property into two parcels leaving the northern 160 acres called the “Shingle Springs Rancheria” and naming the southern 80 acres the "El Dorado Rancheria".   In March of 1966 the BIA “distributed” that lower 80 acres to two of our resident tribal members, terminating Federal Supervision over those two members and the southern parcel. Then CalTrans subsequently filed suit in June of 1966 to condemn the property and build Highway 50 through it.  At the same time the BIA, without explanation, stopped the El Dorado Indigenous Tribe from continuing to occupy the northern 160 acres of our ancestral lands of the "Shingle Springs Rancheria".  


The many names of the Wo-pum-nes MeWuk:  History has given us many names “Digger”, “Me-Wuk, MiWok, MiWuk”, "Mot-to", "Nisenan", “Greenstone”, “Shingle Springs”, “El Dorado County Miwok Indians of the Shingle Springs Reservation", "Historic Miwoks of the Shingle Springs Rancheria",  just to name a few. 

The historic Nisenan-Mewuk of El Dorado County are NOT affiliated with the “Sacramento-Verona Band” who own the trademark  “Redhawk Casino” who are involved in the Renteria case.  The Nisenan-Mewuk of El dorado County are the original "Miwok of Shingle Springs Rancheria"  We do NOT support the “Sacramento-Verona Band’s” methods and activities.

  • -The Redhawk Casino is a trademark of the “Verona-Sacramento River Band”, a group of "Settlers" from Hawaii and Sutter County who in 1980 hi-jacked the name "Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians [Verona Tract]".  Miwok is a traceable ethnicity.  The Verona are not Miwok by DNA (according to the Renteria case) and not Traceable to El Dorado County historical records.

  • -The “Verona” are not indigenous to the town of Shingle Springs, El Dorado County. 

  • -The “Verona”  group of "settlers" have NO continuous history in El Dorado County prior to 1970. 

  • -The “Verona Band” were found in in the town of Nicolaus and Verona at the Sacramento River 1916 by special BIA John Terrell.  They could be a combination of Northern Tribes and Hawaiian.  54 miles away in Sutter County [click to see how far] (research voting records, phone directories, county vital records, land patents, Federal Censuses and special Indian Census for Sutter, Yolo and Sacramento Counties 1870-1970).  

  • The "Verona" group of "Settlers" are absent from California Federal Census and California Indian Census until around 1870.

  • -The "Verona" group of "Settlers"were not in El Dorado County during the Gold Rush and in 1980, have simply claimed the El Dorado Miwok  history to have Congress take BLM land into trust for them [reference Testimony Fonseca, docket #238, CASE NO. 2:08-CV-03133-JAM-DAD].  The Wopumnes are intervening on this case.

  • The 1928 California Indian Judgement Act confirms the Acts of Congress that the repatriation of aboriginal land is for California Indigenous living in California on June 1, 1852.  

  • In the 1935 the Federal Government recognized the (REAL) El Dorado MeWuk of the Shingle Springs Rancheria as the "historic" and "resident" IRA Tribe. 


Thank You,
The Tribal Council of the El Dorado County Nisenan-Mewuk Nation,

Shingle Springs, California.

To do your own research:
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