Understanding Indian Lands
To understand the complex issues involved in determining the “ancestral/historic” lands of the North Fork Rancheria (or any American Indian tribe!) requires a comprehensive, thorough and open-minded approach.
The ancestral lands of the Tribe and its nearly 2,000 citizens include far more than the 80-acre North Fork Rancheria. Based on an extensive and exhaustive review of over 7,000 documents, ethnographers have concluded that ancestors of the Tribe have used and occupied lands throughout contemporary Madera County - ranging from the foothills near the town of North Fork to the proposed casino and resort site on the Valley floor - throughout history.
The attached document – “A BRIEF HISTORY OF ANCESTRAL TIES TO LANDS AROUND PROPOSED GAMING SITE” – provides a summary of North Fork Rancheria land base issues through the Pre-Contact, Contact, Reservation Period, Land Acquisitions, and Termination and Restoration eras.