Published on October 10, 2013 by Amy
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The Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe of the Benton Paiute Reservation, also known as the Benton Paiute Tribe, is a federally recognized Great Basin tribe in Mono County, California.
The Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe has a federal reservation in Mono County, ten miles (16 km) from the Nevada border called the Benton Paiute Reservation (37°47′22″N 118°31′19″W) in Benton, California. The reservation is 400 acres (1.6 km2) large that is held in Trustee status and another 67 acres held in fee simple status. Approximately 50 tribal members on the reservation. The reservation was established on July 22, 1915. The nearest incorporated city is Bishop, which lies about 40 miles to the south. About the same distance to the west is Mammoth Lakes, although there is no direct road leading there.
The tribe’s headquarters is located in Benton, California. The tribe is governed by a democratically elected, five-person tribal council.
The tribe identifies as being Paiute. Tribal enrollment is open to people with one-quarter Paiute blood quantum, either from the Benton area or descended from original enrollees. Other Paiute can be adopted into the tribe, as approved by a five-person enrollment committee.
The current tribal administration is as follows:
At the beginning of 2010, the tribe was awarded a $200,000 grant from the US Department of Energy for a study of the feasibility of geothermal energy development on tribal lands.
The tribe unanimously voted on their constitution on November 22, 1975 and ratified it on January 20, 1976.
The name Utuʼutuwi·tu, a subgroup of Owens Valley Paiute, was Anglicized to Utu Utu Gwaiti, or Gwaitu.