National | Federal Recognition

Tejon Tribe to hold inaugural powwow after gaining recognition

A flyer for the inaugural powwow. Image from Tejon Tribe / Facebook

The recently recognized Tejon Tribe of California holds its very first powwow this weekend.

The inaugural powwow takes place Saturday and Sunday at Cal State University Bakersfield. The theme is "Honoring our Ancestors."

“It enables us to preserve our traditions and come and see friends and family," Chairwoman Kathryn Montes Morgan told The Bakersfield Californian. It’s a time for us to reflect on our heritage, our lives, our loved ones, and, for us especially, our future. It’s a way to pay respect to our ancestors, elders and tribal members.”

Citing a past mistake, former assistant secretary Larry Echo Hawk restored the tribe to the list in January 2012. The Office of Inspector General at the Interior Department said he did so without regard to any sort of "discernible process."

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has since adopted a policy requiring all groups to go through the Office of Federal Acknowledgment when seeking a clarification, reaffirmation or recognition of their status as an Indian tribe.

The Tejon Tribe is now pursuing a casino on ancestral land in Kern County.

Get the Story:
Tejon Indian Tribe makes community debut with powwow (The Bakersfield Californian 9/24)

DOI Inspector General Report:
Investigative Report of the Tejon Indian Tribe (April 2013)

Federal Register Notices:
Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the Bureau of Indian Affairs (August 10, 2012)
Notice of Service Delivery Area Designation for the Tejon Indian Tribe (September 11, 2013)

Related Stories:
Tejon Tribe anticipates lengthy process for casino in California (09/09)
BIA adopts new policy regarding federal recognition process (06/30)
Recently recognized Tejon Tribe to close enrollment next month (08/22)
IHS approves service areas for three newly recognized tribes (09/11)
DOI backs Larry Echo Hawk's decision to recognize Tejon Tribe (05/02)
OIG report blasts Larry Echo Hawk for handling of Tejon case (5/1)
Inspector General Reports: Larry Echo Hawk, Jeanette Hanna (4/30)
Tejon Indian Tribe to start preparing for future as newest tribe (1/4)
BIA places Tejon Indian Tribe back on list of recognized tribes (1/3)