March 1, 2015

Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria


Santa Rosa Rancheria is the reservation of the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria. They are a federally recognized Tachi Yokut tribe.

Official Tribal Name: Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria

Address: 16835 Alkali Dr., PO Box 8, Lemoore, CA 93245
Phone: 559-924-1278
Fax: 559-924-3583
Email: Contact Form

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning: Tachi

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name: Tachi Yokut – Yokut means “people.”

Alternate names / Alternate spellings:

Tachi Yokuts Tribe, Tachi Yokuts Indians, Mariposans, Tache. In contemporary times, the Yokuts are also referred to as the Foothill Yokuts, Northern Valley Yokuts, and Southern Valley Yokuts. The Tachi Yokut are Southern Valley Yokuts.

Name in other languages:

Region: California

State(s) Today: California

Traditional Territory:

The Tachi Yokut Indians have inhabited the San Joaquin valley for centuries.  Prior to European contact, the Yokuts consisted of up to 60 separate tribes speaking the same language. They ranged from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (“the delta”) south to Bakersfield and also into  the adjacent foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which lies to the east.

In the northern half of the Yokuts region, there were some tribes inhabiting the foothills of the Coast Range, which lies to the west. There is evidence of Yokuts also inhabiting the Carrizo Plain and creating rock art in the Painted Rock area.

Confederacy: Yokuts,


Reservation: Santa Rosa Rancheria

Santa Rosa Rancheria is the reservation of the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria. It is located 4.5 miles (7.25 km) southeast of Lemoore, California. It was established in 1934. The Santa Rosa Rancheria expanded in size over the years to 643 acres (260 hectares) by the beginning of 2008. On May 28, 2008, then–Tribal Chairman Clarence Atwell Jr. and Dale Morris, Pacific Region Director of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, signed documents that added 1,163 acres (471 hectares) of trust land.

Land Area: 1,806 acres (731 hectares)

Tribal Headquarters: Lemoore, CA
Time Zone:  Pacific

 Population at Contact:

Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. Alfred L. Kroeber in 1925 put the 1770 population of the entire Yokut population at 18,000. Robert F. Heizer and Albert B. Elsasser in 1980 suggested that the Yokut had numbered about 70,000. They had one of the highest regional population densities in pre-contact North America. The numbers of Foothill Yokut were reduced by around 93% between 1850 and 1900.

 Registered Population Today: Today there are about 2000 Yokuts enrolled in federally recognized tribes, and 600 more Yokut belonging to unrecognized tribes. In 1934, 40 people lived on the Santa Rosa Rancheria when it was first established. Many families lived in tule huts, tin houses, old cars and chicken coops. The average education on the reservation was 3rd grade level, with field labor as the primary source of income. 

The population had increased to 652 as of the 2010 Census, with an average 8th grade education, and seasonal farm labor was still the primary occupation.

By 2015, the average education level had risen to the 12th grade and college levels, and living conditions have improved to wood frame housing, block homes and mobile homes. Unemployment levels had decreased from 85% to 25%, primarily due to the casino and resort.

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Name of Governing Body: Tribal Council

Number of Council members: Two delegates, plus executive officers.
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
Number of Executive Officers: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer


Language Classification: Penutian -> Yok-Utian ->Yokutsan (also known as Yokuts and Mariposan) -> Valley Yokuts

Valley Yokuts is sometimes considered three languages, of which only Northern Valley Yokuts is still spoken.

Language Dialects: Nutunutu–Tachi

Number of fluent Speakers:  The speakers of Yokutsan languages were severely affected by disease, missionaries, and the Gold Rush. While descendants of Yokutsan-family speakers currently number in the thousands, most of the constituent languages are now extinct. Though there are no longer any native speakers, Tachi has a Headstart language program being taught to children.



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies: Yokuts are known to have engaged in trading with other California tribes of Native Americans including coastal peoples such as the Chumash of the Central California coast, with whom they are thought to have traded plant and animal products.

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:


Clothing: They made simple clothing out of bark and grass.  Their jewelry and headbands were made of seeds and feathers.


Subsistance: Their main food was acorns.  The Yokuts also ate wild plants, roots, and berries.  They hunted deer, rabbits, prairie dogs, and other small mammals and birds. 

Economy Today: Tachi Palace Casino & Resort, Sequoia Inn, Rainbow Brite Industrial Services, seasonal farm laborers.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs



Santa Rosa People of Note:

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

With the arrival of the American settlers, the Yocut Indians lost the land where they once lived and thrived. Their land was given away by the government or sold to farmers and ranchers, sometimes as bounty for killing their people. By the end of the 19th century, the Tachi Yokut Tribe was split across the central and southern parts of California.

In the San Joaquin Valley, the Tachi Yokut people were marched on foot from the valley to the foothills to make way for farmers and ranchers. When oil was discovered near Coalinga, they were then marched back to a desolate spot in the central valley near the present location of Santa Rosa Rancheria.

The Citizenship Act of 1924 gave all Indians American citizenship rights while allowing them to retain their tribal citizenship but it made little difference in the way the Tachi Yokuts were treated by the government. As part of integration into white society, the federal government sent Yokut children to government schools, banned their religion, and teaching the traditional language and culture was strongly discouraged.

This left the Santa Rosa Indian Community with few ties to the past.

In the News:

Further Reading:


US Tribes Q-S
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