Opinion | Federal Recognition

Opinion: Mishewal Wappo Tribe does not qualify for recognition





"Napa County does not oppose federal recognition of any group of Native Americans, so long as the group can satisfy the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) requirements for initial recognition or the legal requirements for restoration after termination.

It is Napa County’s position that the Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley does not meet the legal standards for restoration.

The Native Americans who occasionally resided on the Alexander Valley Rancheria in Sonoma County had no tribal organization, no government-to-government relationship with the federal government and had abandoned the Rancheria long before the federal government terminated the Rancheria in 1961.

Therefore, the termination of the Alexander Valley Rancheria did not deprive those Native Americans of any land or tribal recognition, but rather, brought an official end to federal supervision that had, in fact, ended decades earlier.

You cannot restore something that never existed in the first place."

Get the Story:
Elizabeth Emmett: County responds to tribal recognition letter (The Napa Valley Register 5/29)

Related Stories:
Mishewal Wappo Tribe's recognition backed by unknown group (5/24)
Letter: Appalling treatment of Mishewal Wappo Tribe recognition (5/21)
Editorial: Mishewal Wappo Tribe recognition a serious issue (5/3)
Tribe asks judge to remove counties from recognition case (02/22)
Judge blocks an appeal in Mishewal Wappo recognition case (2/3)
Counties trying to appeal Mishewal Wappo recognition case (01/18)