Three California Rancheria Termination Acts (and an amendment) were passed in the 1950s and 1960s as part of the US Indian termination policy. The first Act, passed in 1956, the second in 1957, and the third, in 1958, targeted 41 Rancherias for termination. An additional seven were added via an amendment in 1964.On 18 August 1958, Congress passed the California Rancheria Termination Act, Public Law 85-671 (72 Stat. 619). The act called for the distribution of all 41 rancheria communal lands and assets to individual tribe members. It called for a plan "for distributing to individual Indians the assets of the reservation or Rancheria, including the assigned and the unassigned lands, or for selling such assets and distributing the proceeds of sale, or conveying such assets to a corporation or other legal entity organized or designed by the group, or for conveying such assets to the group, as tenants in common." Before the land could be distributed, the act called for a government survey of land on the rancheria. The government was required to improve or construct all roads serving the rancheria, to install or rehabilitate irrigation, sanitation, and domestic water systems, and to exchange land held in trust for the rancheria. All Indians who received a portion of the assets were ineligible to receive any more federal services rendered to them based on their status as Indians.
In 1957–58, a State Senate Interim Committee investigation revealed that little had been done to prepare Indian reserves for termination. In 1958, the Rancheria Termination Act was enacted. A memo from the Department of Interior shows the insufficiency of the notice given the California Indians, which was simply posted on the Rancheria for 30 days. In many testimonies, like that of the Mission Creek Band of Mission Indians of the Desert Hot Springs CA, plaintiffs alleged that BIA officials spoke only to whoever was occupying the homestead at the time, rather than consulting with Indians living in the surrounding area.
Mission Creek tribe was not ready or educated for such a task. MC did not have legal representation nor did the BIA fulfill its obligation before distributing the land to selective individuals. According to the California Rancheria Termination Act, Public Law 85-671 (72 Stat. 619) "Before the land could be distributed, the act called for a government survey of land on Mission Creek Reservation. The government was required to improve or construct all roads serving Mission Creek Reservation, to install or rehabilitate irrigation, sanitation, and domestic water systems" none of these improvements were ever completed on the Mission Creek Reservation. The BIA approved Mission Creeks first Constitution on February 4th, 1960 and Terminates them several years later. Title to the land on the Mission Creek Reservation has passed from the U.S. Government under distribution plan dated May 6, 1966.
When Californians developed its state constitution, residents moved quickly to unilaterally restrict any rights of California Indians. As non-citizens, California Indians had no legal rights in a court of law and could not testify against whites. Further, as non-citizens, California Indians had no property rights to their lands. Many Americans viewed California Indians as impediments to the development and prosperity of the state particularly as gold decreased and the state economy shifted to agriculture and cattle. However, with the shifting state economy, California turned to exploiting Indians for labor and some emigrants hailed from southern states and accepted servitude. Thus, the economic prosperity of the state of California was based on two formal policies of extermination and Indian slavery. These state sponsored policies appear to have faded from the public memory. The first Governor of California, Peter H. Burnett, addressed California Indian extermination in his 1851 annual state address in which he asserted, “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races, until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected.” He continued, “While we cannot anticipate this result but with painful regret, the inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power or wisdom of man to avert."To encourage extermination, various towns and counties paid bounties that ranged from twenty five cents to five dollars for scalps, severed heads, or other items of satisfactory evidence. In its first session, the California legislature passed “An Act for the Government and Protection of Indians” in 1850, months before gaining official statehood as a free state. Despite its innocuous name, it legalized slavery of California Indians and established an “apprentice” program for children with the promise, but no enforcement, to feed, clothe, and treat the children humanely. According to the law, Indians could be arrested based on the “complaint of any resident” for “loitering” or “strolling about.” Further, if authorities determined an arrested Indian to be a “vagrant” they could be auctioned within twenty-four hours to the highest bidder for a length not to exceed four months. An 1860 amendment extended the length of servitude and further expanded the opportunity for whites to gain children apprentices by appearing before a county or district judge to prove the children had been obtained through consent of parents or “persons having the care or charge of any such child or children.” The purposefully ambiguous language expanded the number of people who could claim rights to Indian children and their labor.
The UNJUST of the BIA and Congress. Slavery of Takhtam-Serrano and Cahuilla Indians on their own land. Treaties broken. Interpretation of the Rancheria Act. Interpretation of the Indian reorganization Act, Mission Creek Reservation Journey, from going to bad to worse. Land Patient of 1891
BROKEN TREATIES CA.
Peace and Friendship treaty of 1851-1852 was broken in the same year it was written.
Three Indian commissioners traveled throughout the state and successfully negotiated treaties which set aside about eight million acres for reservation lands. In exchange for conceding any claims to their homelands, California Indians received promises of reservation lands but ultimately received neither. Commonly referred to as the “eighteen un-ratified treaties,” Congress’ decision to not publicly debate the California treaties meant they did not appear in the regular congressional record and instead were sent to the Department of Interior and filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There they remained a secret because Congress ordered an injunction of secrecy per its rules on treaty-making. The injunction of secrecy was lifted in 1905. Treaties negotiated with California Indians occurred when the federal government sought a different policy of dealing with Indians and it formally ceased negotiating treaties with Indians in 1871.