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The "Sheep Ranch Tribe" is a federally recognized,
California Indian tribe that was established in 1915 by a land acquisition
act of the U.S. government for homeless Indians. Of the original 12 individuals
who were identified as members, Peter Hodge was listed as "the leading
member of this little band ....".
Over the decades, various Indians (individuals and families)
came and went to and from the "Rancheria" reservation, with the
Hodge family being the primary residents through Mable Hodge Dixie and her
son, Yakima Kenneth Dixie. Also, in 1936, Jeff Davis is recorded as having
voted for the Indian Reorganization Act; and it is documented that in the
1950's the Carsoner family (Velma, Iva, Antone, Tom, Barbara, Cecelia, Linda,
and Andrew) were raised on the reservation. For a more detailed history
of the reservation, see early
In 1996, Mable Hodge Dixie was identified by the government
as the sole authority for the Tribe. By Miwok tradition, upon her death
in 1971, the Chieftainship passed to her eldest son, Richard Dixie; and
upon his death in 1975, the Chieftainship passed to the second eldest son,
Yakima Dixie, who contines in that position today.
In 1998, upon the recommendations of the BIA, Mr. Dixie
gave tribal status to one Silvia Burley, who is a distant relative, so that
she might obtain medical and educational benefits for herself and her daughters
that accrue to Indians through government programs. In return, Ms. Burley
was supposed to help Mr. Dixie organize the Tribe. Instead, she had the
authority for the Tribe conveyed to herself and redirected huge sums of
money to herself and her family - disenfranchising Mr. Dixie and all other
rightful members of the Tribe.
In 1999, Mr. Dixie accidentally discovered his substitution;
and the rightful authority for the Tribe has been in dispute since then.
In February 2005, the BIA in Washington, D.C. determined that the issue
of authority should be resolved by the formal organization the Tribe and
that this process be supervised under the auspices of the BIA. On November
6 2006, the local Agency of the Bureau issued a Notice
that the organization would proceed; and that is where the matter stands
at this time. Ms. Burley appealed that Notice and it is now being resolved
within the Interior Board of Indian Appeals.
For a review of the history and legal status of the tribe,
see a recent letter
to the Attorney General of the State of California from the Solicitor's
Office of the Department of Interior.
|Calaveras Community Development Agency is holding a series of workshops
in early December to get the public's input on the top issues facing the
County. This is part of the process of updating the County's General Plan
which hasn't had a significant revision since 1986. Dates|