The collective impact of California history on Native/Indigenous Tribes.

Marcus Ruiz Evans
4 min readJul 13, 2018


This map is an attempt to provide an easy to understand lesson for all Californians who are not Native Tribes/ Indigenous about the damage that has been done to the “first people of California”.

We as Californians, who are not part of a California Native Tribe, need to work steadily to destroy our ignorance about what has been done. I include myself in this.

The data was compiled by me, please send data corrections to: MARCUS.RUIZ.EVANS@GMAIL.COM

Special THANKS — to these GREAT CALIFORNIANS who informed me of more data points to add to the map:

These mass killing sites have been added
- Clear Lake, in Lake County: Bloody Island Lake Massacre (credit — Carolynn)
- Marsh Creek State Historic Park, in Brentwood: Mass Killing Site (credit — Elise)

  • The Mattole are not gone (credit-Lisa)
    -The Barbareno are not extinct (credit -Devlin)
UPDATED MAP — SHOWING LOCATIONS OF SPANISH MISSIONS AND REVOLTS BY TRIBES AGAINST MISSIONS. Special thanks to Dr. Deana Dartt for the suggestion. (special note: originally Spanish missions were not included in the map, not out of a hope to keep that part of California’s history hidden — but to focus attention by Californians on fact that our existing state government was part in a full blown genocidal campaign as organized and evil as the acts of the Nazi empire of WW2.
California natives have had to endure even more atrocities. Many tribes have been so decimated that they have no living members who still speak the language. Tribal language use is key to retaining the character of the tribe, and the loss of Native language speakers is a type of death for that tribe. Additionally some tribes don’t even have a reservation ANYWHERE in their ancestral lands. Some tribes have no native speakers any more and have no land set aside — a harsh condition for them to be able to retain a connection to their culture. Additionally, the American government made treaties with California tribes around 1851 and then refused to honor the treaties. This land legally belongs to Natives according to the American government and it is just being held from them illegally. Additionally, When Americans illegally immigrated to California when it was under Mexican control, during the Gold Rush, they tried to wipe out the Natives, in a series of mass murders where anywhere from 30–400 men, women and children would be killed at a time, and the California government established by these illegal American immigrants set up a formal campaign of genocide paying 25 cents for every severed head of a Native person. It is difficult to tell if a Tribe is actually gone or not, because Native tribes are sometimes afraid to identify themselves given the history of genocide and intimidation that has been launched at them for most of the last century. However, it does appear that only ONE tribe is actually extinct — the Yahi (with the death of Ishi). The big take away is that contrary to what most non-Natives think — almost all California tribes still exist — meaning someone is still alive to represent the fact that Americans took away their land.

“From the very beginning of statehood, California had set out on a path to purge the Native Americans from its lands — both subtly by legal disenfranchisement and more blatantly by outright violence. At the first State Constitutional Convention, those assembled voted to eliminate the Indians’ right to vote. In 1850, “An Act for the Government and Protection of Indians” was enacted by the first session of the State Legislature. The one part of the law that, in some way, protected local Native Americans was the requirement that white landowners permit Native Americans who were living peaceably on their land to continue to do so. The other parts laid out in stark lines the ever-tightening rope of laws that began winding its way around the native communities. One stipulation of the law that essentially permitted the rise of slavery in the state was that any native found loitering where alcohol was served, found strolling around or otherwise leading a profligate life could be arrested and, after 24 hours, sold to the highest bidder for labor, the term of service not to exceed four months. In 1860, the law of 1850 was amended to allow native children, who were found without their parents, to be enslaved for the purpose of apprenticing them in some sort of trade or other employment. By this amendment, it was legal for a white person to retain the services of a native child until 40 years of age for boys or 35 years of age for girls.[i] “ — Antone Pierucci

[i]Act for the Government and Protection of Indians. 1850. Journal of the Senate of the State of California, at the First Session of the Legislature, 1849–1850 (San José: J. Winchester, State Printer, 1850), 217, 224.


OFFICIAL CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT RECEIPT (created by Illegal Immigrants from America who were White Supremacists (they believed in Manifest Destiny) FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEVERED HEADS OF CALIFORNIA TRIBES 1851–1873. Notice the word “Paid”.

Rewards ranged from $5 for every severed head in Shasta City in 1855 to 25 cents for a scalp in Honey Lake in 1863. One resident of Shasta City wrote about how he remembers seeing men bringing mules to town, each laden with eight to twelve Indian heads. Other regions passed laws that called for collective punishment for the whole village for crimes committed by Indians, up to the destruction of the entire village and all of its inhabitants. These policies led to the destruction of as many as 150 Native communities.”

“In both 1851 and 1852 California paid out $1 million — revenue from the gold fields — to militias that hunted down and slaughtered Indians.”

“In 1857, the state issued $400,000 in bonds to pay for anti-Indian militias.”

“A war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct.”- California Governor Peter H. Burnett, January 1851

“We hope that the Government will render such aid as will enable the citizens of the north to carry on a war of extermination until the last redskin of these tribes has been killed. Extermination is no longer a question of time — the time has arrived, the work has commenced and let the first man who says treaty or peace be regarded as a traitor.”- Yreka Herald, 1853

Oldest known copy of the Treaties from 1851–1852
Manifest Destiny promotion poster (1872). Notice the white angle leading white people, while Native people run for their lives. Manifest Destiny said that white people had the right to rule over all of America because they were white, and all brown skinned people like Mexicans and Natives could be moved off the land.

“ There are currently 109 federally recognized Indian tribes in California and 78 entities [who are not recognized] petitioning for recognition”



Marcus Ruiz Evans

President Yes California/ Calexit movement. Interviewed by Politico, New York Times, FOX, WashPost, LA Times, LA Weekly, Sac Bee, Daily Show w/TN, Mother Jones