Quest for Tribal Acknowledgment
California's Honey Lake Maidus
AUTHOR: Tolley, Sara-Larus and Sarris, Greg
PUBLISHER: University of Oklahoma Press
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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.
PUBLICATION DATE: 6/5/2006
CATEGORY: History, Law