Published on August 29, 2013 by Amy
The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California is a federally recognized Indian Tribe organized pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, as amended. The Tribe has four communities, three in Nevada (Stewart, Carson, and Dresslerville), and one in California (Woodfords). There is also a Washoe community located within the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. The Tribe has jurisdiction over trust allotments in both Nevada and California, with additional Tribal Trust parcels located in Alpine, Placer, Sierra, Douglas, Carson, and Washoe Counties.
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Tribal history extends an estimated 9,000 years in the Lake Tahoe Basin and adjacent east and west slopes and valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The present day Washoe Tribe has deep roots in the past, radiating from Lake Tahoe, a spiritual and cultural center, and encompassing an area that stretches from Honey Lake to Mono Lake. This aboriginal area was positioned directly in the path of explorers, immigrants, and gold-seekers that were bound for California in the United States’ westward migration.
The total occupation of the Washoe peoples’ former lands took only a few short years. Before occupation, the Washoe people lived a seasonal life of hunting and plant gathering. Summer was spent at Lake Tahoe, and the surrounding environments, hunting, fishing, and collecting medicinal plants, roots, and berries for the winter season. Fall was spent in the Pine Nut Mountains gathering and celebrating the pine nut harvest, a staple food source. Winter and spring found the Tribe in the lower elevations.
We share our ancestors’ desire to protect Lake Tahoe and all our lands. Combining traditional and modern conservation practices, the Washoe play a significant role in the protection and restoration of endangered habitats. Our unique knowledge and guardianship of the land and its plants and animals, help us make an invaluable contribution to resource management planning.