A Survey by the members of American Indian Studies 410: California Indians
San Francisco State University, Fall 2001- June 2002
Vital Statistics - People and Land:
Is your tribe recognized? Unrecognized? (Y: 83%, N: 17%)
About how large is your population? (Average: 300)
Does your tribe have land set aside on a rancheria or reserve? (Yes: 74%, No: 26%)
Is your rancheria/reserve located on or near ancestral land? (Yes: 92%, No: 8%)
Do members of your tribe have access to ancestral land? (Yes: 79%, No: 21%)
Do members have access to resources that allow you to practice traditional ways of hunting, fishing, religion, artistry, etc.? (Yes: 58%, No: 42%)
Sacred Places, Sacred Objects:
Is your tribe in a position to have sacred objects and/or remains repatriated? (Yes: 57%, No: 43%)
Have you ever had a repatriation of anything sacred? (Yes: 35%, No: 65%)
Do you have a repatriation case pending? (Yes: 24%, No: 71%, Unknown: 5%)
Has your tribe had to deal with the issue of pesticides in any repatriation? (Yes: 10%, No: 86%,
Has your tribe recently had any objects stolen that are sacred to your culture? (Yes: 26%, No: 65%, Unknown: 9%)
Does your tribe hold certain animals and plants sacred? (Yes: 91%, No: 9%)
Has the State/Federal government designated any of your tribal sites as historical landmarks?
(Yes: 39%, No: 57%, Unknown: 4%)
Cultural Preservation and Language:
Is your tribal language recorded in dictionaries or tapes? (Yes: 78%, No: 22%)
Is your language still passed down? (Yes: 83%, No: 17% )
Does your tribe have a program to restore or record your language? (Yes: 43%, No: 57%)
Does your tribe have an Indian Center, which specifically caters to your community?
(Yes: 26%, No: 74%)
Does your tribe have a museum or cultural center for the public to visit?
(Yes: 13%, No: 87%)
Does your tribe hold cultural gatherings, like Big Times, Powwows, ceremonies, potlatches, or storytelling?
(Yes: 57%, No: 36%, NA: 7%)
Do you have any contemporary artists? (Yes: 57%, No: 39%, Unknown: 4%)
Is there funding available for your artists? (Yes: 9%, No: 86%)
Does your tribe have an official website? (Yes: 50%, No: 50%)
The most frequently mentioned barrier of access to sacred tribal land was private land ownership, followed by poorly managed public lands.
Current practices that require access to specific natural resources included: gathering materials for basketry, medicinal herbs, vision quests, regalia making, sweats, fishing, hunting, dancing, gathering (among others).
Inaccessibility to ancient tribal land impacts the community in these ways: the private land concept is counter to tribal beliefs, culture suffers, no places to gather, destruction of ancient sites.
Some of the landmark designations of tribal lands include: ancient sites (archaeology sites), rock art sites, girls puberty rock, battle sites, village sites, sacred caves, and massacre sites.
Tribes that are not able to receive repatriations mentioned these as the reasons: museums slow to repatriate, lack of a tribal museum, inadequate storage or housing for materials, inability to identify tribal items, lack of funding, lack of access to land to reinter certain items.
Animals or plants that are held sacred by tribes include: Coyote, Eagle, Hawk(s), Bear, Owl, Deer, Salmon, Snake(s), Sage, Anjelica, Bay Laurel, California Tobacco, Medicinal Herbs, Teas (from various plants), Wormwood, Acorn-Oaks, Lizard, Woodpecker, Road Runner, Turtle, and Eel (among others).
Gatherings listed by tribes include: Big Times, Bear Dance, PowWows, Brush Dance, Sweats, Burning Ceremony, Solstice, Equinox, Harvest gatherings, winter storytelling, Spring Festival, Strawberry Festival, and various ceremonials specific to each tribe.