Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: bishop paiute | paiute | california | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 25 December 2007
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Bishop Paiute - California
The Owens Valley Paiute originally controlled a vast area along the Owens River in what is now called Eastern California. This area is nestled between the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range on the west and the White mountains on the east. This is a land found northeast of Sequoia National Park and north of Death Valley. Here the Bishop Paiute control some 877 acres upon which reside around 1,100 tribal members. The Tribe is presently in the process of acquiring 250 acres of its traditional lands, restoring the Bishop Paiute to their true home. Some 68,000 such acres in the area have been identified by the Tribe for re-acquisition over time.
The Bishop Paiute Tribe was created after a Presidential order on March 11, 1912. This Executive order set apart lands for the Bishop colony. During this time, Tribal members made their livelihood from farming and ranching. In 1937, an act of Congress ceded all previously owned Indian Lands to the City of Los Angeles in exchange for some city-owned land. This land exchange altered the way of life for Tribal members as income would now come from non-traditional sources such as land leasing.
Today the Bishop Paiute Indians are revitalizing their culture and making progress towards economic self-sufficiency. The Bishop Paiute Reservation is located in Inyo County, a region famous for its spectacular landscape. It sits in a valley along snow-tipped mountains that rise four to six thousand feet from the valley floor. It is this scenery that is celebrated on the seal of the Bishop Paiute Nation today.
© Donald Healy 2008
A blue flag bears the tribal seal. That seal is also blue, recalling the clear blue sky still found in eastern California. The sky rises over a mountain of the Sierra Nevada range. That mountain appears in black and dominates the
lower half of the seal. Throughout the mountain run various blue lines reminding the viewer of the source of he water that kept the Paiute of the region supplied. The mountain runoff is the source for much of the water now feeding thirsty Los Angeles.
In addition to the mountain, the seal contains the name "Bishop Paiute Tribe" in bold white letters. Dangling from the 'B' in Bishop, and the 'E' at the end of Tribe appear a pair of white feathers.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 25 December 2007