View Single Post
Old 22 September 2011, 11:12 PM
crescent crescent is offline
Join Date: 13 August 2008
Location: Right here
Posts: 2,518

Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
That one's actually a pretty good question. I'm guessing those people didn't have their reservation there through choice?
Sort of yes and no, both. The tribe always lived in the general area. Back in the 1930's the CCC built a campground roughly where the tribal village had been, and the tribe was moved to a new village location about a mile away - but the new location had no water, few trees, and no shelter from the wind. At the time it was not a reservation, but the tribe did not own the land, either, they had a sort of a permit from the Park Service.

The tribe lobbied for a good many years before congress transferred the village land ownership from the National Park and made it a Reservation in the year 2000.

What got me about the comment was the idea that the tribe historically just didn't know enough to understand that Death Valley is a harsh place. They knew that, but they also knew that there were quite a bit of edible plants in the area - a good bit more than on the great plains, or Sierra Nevada, or other places that people might associate with American Indians.

Lots of mesquite beans and cattails in the lowlands during fall and winter, then in Spring they would travel up the canyons (where lots of grapevines grew) to the hills to collect Pinyon nuts. They knew perfectly well why they lived where they lived.

ETA: Some of tribal members don't really like the name "Death Valley" - it was not deadly for them, and even the guys who named it Death Valley only had one death in thier group, apparently from a pre-existing condition

Last edited by crescent; 22 September 2011 at 11:21 PM.
Reply With Quote