Home / Blog / Indigenous Indians of the Eastern Sierra Mountain Range

Indigenous Indians of the Eastern Sierra Mountain Range

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Reddit 0 StumbleUpon 0 Pin It Share 0 LinkedIn 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×

Paiute Palace CasinoThe Paiute Indians of California have been part of the fabric of the Eastern Sierra Mountain area for eons. They once made their living by hunting and gathering and by irrigating lands in order to support edible plants. Today, more than 2,000 Paiute Indians still live in the Mammoth Lakes region.

The western United States was once home to a vast variety of Native American tribes and many descendants of those tribes still live in the West. The Paiute Indians were just one of those tribes.

Actually, the term “Paiute” refers to three groups of Native Americans; the Owens Valley Paiute and Northern Paiute occupied the land which is now California, particularly the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. The Southern Paiute resided on the Colorado Plateau, where it meets the Great Basin in the southwestern corner of the state of Utah.

The Paiute people who live on the Bishop Paiute Reservation are descendants of the “Nu-Mu”, the original people of the Owens Valley. In 1912, the U.S. Government reserved over 67,000 acres of lands in the Owens Valley for the Indians of this area. In 1932, President Hoover revoked the 67,000 acres reserved land and placed the lands in watershed protection status for the City of Los Angeles. In 1936, the City of Los Angeles wanted the remaining lands and the federal government traded these lands for the 875 acres that now comprise the Bishop Paiute Reservation located at the base of the magnificent Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Today the Paiute people are the fifth largest California Tribe, with 2,000 members and one of the smallest land bases. Despite the land predicament the Tribal government has upgraded technical capabilities and developed infrastructure for the present and future growth of the Bishop Paiute Reservation.

The languages of the Paiute Indians of California are Uto-Aztecan, one of the largest and most well-established linguistic families of the Americas, both in geographical area and number of languages.

The culture of the Paiute Indians continues today. With the 2,000 Owens Valley Paiutes living on the Benton, Bishop, Big Pine, Lone Pine, and Fort Independence reservations, and about 150 Northern Paiutes live in the Bridgeport Paiute Indian Colony, on the Cedarville Rancheria, and on the Fort Bidwell Reservation.

Some Paiute Indian reservations sponsor business ventures such as casinos. For example, visitors can find the Paiute Palace and Indian Reservation Casino at the Bishop, California Reservation. The Paiute Casino on Highway 395 is an example of the successful business ventures they have. I truly enjoyed writing this Blog and learning more about the “white man” taking land that once belonged to the tribe for the benefit of the paleface.

Comments are closed.