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Native American Indians of Yolo County

The Hill Patwin and the River Patwin

 

This is the beginning of a project in which I plan to collect information on the various ethnic groups that lived in Yolo County. I will begin with the Native American Indians who lived in Yolo County. Below are links that may be of interest to those seeking information on the Native American Indians in and near Yolo County. After the first section of links, you will find a brief history of the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians. If you are interested in the past history of the Patwin Indians, there are two links that would be especially informative. Go to Dancin' On Sacred Land: Past by Rob Thayer, Professor of Landscape Architecture, and Indians, Grizzlies Succumb to Newcomers (Patwin Indians). If you are interested in the circumstances of the present-day Indians in Yolo County, please go to Dancin' on Sacred Land: "We are Not Dead": Local Native Peoples Today.

Further down on this page you will find other American Indian links that may be of interest in the section entitled Other Native American Indian Links of Interest/Resources. I am listing these as many of the American Indians today living in our region (or their ancestors) came from other parts of the United States and beyond. These links may help in researching their ancestors with American Indian backgrounds prior to their coming to Yolo County.

Linked Headings Within This Document:

 


Patwin – Wintun – Wintu Indians

  • The Explorit Science Museum, Davis California
    Explorit Science Center, 3141 5th Street, P.O. Box 1288, Davis, CA 95617
    (530) 756-0191 (phone); (530) 756-1227 (fax)

    The Explorit Science Museum prepares exhibitions on various topics, many of local interest. They have prepared exhibits about local California American Indians of the past. You can use the “Main Index and Search” feature to find more articles on the Indians of Yolo County. Following you will find the titles of some of these Yolo County Indian exhibits. If you are interested they have available documents called TERFs (Teacher's Enrichment Resource Packet) which summarize the exhibit and give reference materials. Following are some of the subjects to the public for a fee. Past Exhibits for which TERFs are available:

    “Koolas to Tipis to Tule Huts”
    “Land and Life of the Patwin”
    “Life in California: Circa 1,000 A.D.”
    “Native Ways: Plant and Tool Use of Western Native People”
    “Tools to Live By: Patwin Hunting and Gathering Exhibition”
  • Esparto Branch Library of the Yolo County Library System
    The Esparto Branch Library is the holder of the California Indian Library Collection from the University of California at Berkeley. The collection consists of books, journal articles, unpublished manuscripts, field notes, sound recordings, and photographs.

  • “Indians, grizzlies succumb to newcomers,” article by Kristin Delaplane, from Echoes From Solano's Past, in The Reporter.com, February 26, 1995. This article is about the Southern Patwin Indians who once lived in Solano County, which is adjacent to Yolo County.

  • Maidu Museum & Historic Site – Located in Roseville, California. “Learn about the Maidu Indians and their culture on a guided tour of the historic site and enjoy the beauty of the outdoor trail while viewing petroglyphs and bedrock mortars.”

  • Patwin Bibliography – Presented by the California Indian Library Collections Project (CILC). "The California Indian Library Collections Project is now located at the Ethnic Studies Library, Native American Studies Collection, 30 Stephens Hall, U.C. Berkeley, 94720. We are able to answer question regarding the collection or concerning California Indians."

  • Sacramento Archeological Society, Inc. – “The Sacramento Archeological Society, Inc. is dedicated to the study and preservation of pre-history and historical aspects of the past.  The society is a non-profit group of both professional archeologists and individuals with an active avocational interest in archeology.”

  • Tragic Demise of “People of the West Wind,”article by Kristin Delaplane, from Echoes From Solano's Past, in The Reporter.com, February 26, 1995. This article is about the Southern Patwin Indians who once lived in Solano County, which is adjacent to Yolo County.

  • Wintu – Wintun Bibliography – University of California: Berkeley
    Also includes sources on Patwin, Miwok, and other California Indian tribes. Presented by the California Indian Library Collections Project (CILC). "The California Indian Library Collections Project is now located at the Ethnic Studies Library, Native American Studies Collection, 30 Stephens Hall, U.C. Berkeley, 94720. We are able to answer question regarding the collection or concerning California Indians."

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The Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians History

The American Indians in the Yolo Area are known as the Hill Patwin or "Win" and the River Patwin.(1) The group of American Indians living in the Capay Valley today refer to themselves as the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians. The history of the local California Indians has been one of suffering and struggle. They are well known for their Cache Creek Casino, which has enabled them to become self-sufficient and to have a degree of autonomy today.(1)

Bands of Wintun people lived in the Capay Valley along Cache Creek for thousands of years. When the first white men arrived in the area and asked who they were, the Indians responded with "Patwin," meaning "people" in their native language. Since that time the Wintun and related tribes along the valley and Cache Creek were known as "Patwin."

Today on the Rumsey Rancheria the families help run the rancheria and their sovereignty is officially recognized by the federal government. In addition to the well-known Cache Creek Casino, the tribe is involved in other business and agricultural enterprises with the goal of remaining self-sufficient.

Sources for the above history of the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians:

(1) Rob Thayer, Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of California – Davis, December 10, 1999.
(2) Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians Tribal Info. – Origins, August 6, 1999.
(3) (Woodland) Daily Democrat, Yolo County Indian School"Indians to Get Aid – Mrs. Bandy Told U. S. Agent Coming," October 15, 1910, pg. 2.
(4) (Woodland) Daily Democrat, "Rumsey School Does Not Want Indian Pupils" February 27, 1912, pg. 1.
(5) (Woodland) Daily Democrat, "Statement by Rev. F. C. Collett – Says That he is Simply Contending for the Rights of the Indians," February 23, 1912, pg. 1.
(6) (Woodland) Daily Democrat, "Yolo Indians Pay Tribute to Dead; Homes Near Collapse," December 2, 1935, pg. 1
(7) (Woodland) Daily Democrat, "Indians to Get Aid - Mrs. Bandy Told U. S. Agent Coming," December 7, 1935, pg. 7.
(8) (Woodland) Daily Democrat, "Donations Offered for Indians," December 16, 1935, pg. 1.
(9) (Woodland) Daily Democrat, "Federal Government to Expend $100,000 To Aid Needy Sacramento Valley Indians," November 16, 1935, pg. 1.
(10) The Sacramento Union,War Veterans "Bewail Their Plight As Wards on Yolo Indian Reserve," February 12, 1950, pg. 1.

Links Regarding the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians

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Other Native American Indian Links of Interest/Resources

The following Native American sites have information (including genealogy information) on many of the tribes of American Indians on our continent, in addition to California, that will help you search for Native American ancestors.

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Maps Regarding American Indians

 

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