Quest for Tribal Acknowledgment: California's Honey Lake Maidus

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A small group of Indians known as the Honey Lake Maidus are very much alive today in the valley of the Susan River of northeast California. As a tribe, however, they do not exist. This is because they have not been acknowledged, a process by which the federal government officially recognizes Indian tribes.

By contrast, other California Indian tribes have won federal recognition and come to represent a driving force behind most Indian legislation, including laws to regulate Indian casinos. Their political power and economic prosperity, however, has incurred resentment. Caught in this web of contending political forces are hundreds of small Indian groups, peoples like the Honey Lake Maidus who, because they lack federal recognition, cannot protect their cultures and secure their futures. They are also unable to undertake economic endeavors that would provide care for their children and elders.

In Quest for Tribal Acknowledgment, Sara-Larus Tolley, an anthropologist who has worked for the Honey Lake Maidus for several years, recounts the group’s efforts to obtain recognition. In 1999, the tribe gained funding to work full-time on its petition, which it submitted to the government in 2001. While the Honey Lake Maidus wait for their application to gain “active” status, they continually update and refine its contents. And like hundreds of other unrecognized Indian groups seeking acknowledgment, they hope for the future.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806137483
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara-Larus Tolley is a researcher for News from Native California, a quarterly magazine. She continues to assist the Honey Lake Maidus in their fight for federal acknowledgment.ÿ

Greg Sarris is author of the anthology Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts, the novel Watermelon Nights, and scripts for screen and stage. He is Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and holds the Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at Sonoma State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : working for the Honey Lake Maidus 3
Ch. 1 Ethnography after genocide : the unmentioned in California's Kroeberian anthropology 18
Ch. 2 California's non-recognized tribes, waiting before the law 39
Ch. 3 Mapping the boundaries of anthropology and tribe 70
Ch. 4 The Bear Dance digests the state 103
Ch. 5 Petitioning and freedom 148
Ch. 6 Federal recognition and the possibilities for healing 193
App. A 25 CFR part 83.7 : the mandatory criteria for federal acknowledgment
App. B Coyote at Wepum Mountain, told by Ron Morales
App. C Sherman Alexie's "why we play basketball"
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