July 10, 2012

Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation


The Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation is a federally recognized tribe made up of Yokuts, about 200 Yowlumne, Wukchumnis band of Yokuts, Western Mono and Tübatulabal people. The nearest town to the reservation is East Porterville and/or Springville, California.

Official Tribal Name: Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation

Address:  340 N. Reservation Road, BIA Rd 70, Porterville, CA 93257
Phone: (559) 781-4271 ext 1000
Fax:  (559)781-4610

Official Website: 

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Alternate names / Alternate spellings:

Yokuts, Yowlumne, Wukchumnis band of Yokuts, Western Mono, Tübatulabal, Koyeti, Yaudanchi, Chunuts, Yokodo, Kaweah, Wukchumne, Punkalachi, Kumachisi.

Name in other languages:

Region: California

State(s) Today: California

Traditional Territory:

The original inhabitants of the San Joaquin Valley were the Yokut-speaking tribes- about 50 dialect groups occupying the territory along the rivers and creeks flowing from the Sierras and around Tulare Lake. 

Confederacy: Yocuts


The Unratified Treaties of 1851

Reservation: Tule River Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land

The Tule River Reservation was established in 1873 by an US Executive Order in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is south of Fresno and north of Bakersfield.  It was established as a homeland for Tule River, Kings River, Owens River, Monache Cajon and other scattered bands of Indians.

Land Area:  55,356 acres (224.02 km2). Enlarged by Executive Order on October 3, 1873 to 91,837 acres. On August 3, 1878, by Executive Order of President Rutherford B. Hayes, the reservation lands were reverted back to the size of the first Executive Order of President Grant.
Tribal Headquarters:  Porterville, CA
Time Zone:  Pacific

Population at Contact: In 1864, the population consisted of 450 Tule River Indians and 350 Owens River Indians who were relocated there from Fort Tejon. Traditionally, 60 Yokut tribes lived in south central California to the east of Porterville.

Registered Population Today:  Tribal enrollment is approximately 1,794.

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Charter:  The main piece of governing legislation is the Tule River Indian Tribe Constitution and Bylaws approved January 15, 1936.
Name of Governing Body:  Tribal Council 
Number of Council members:  The Tule River Tribal Council Consists of nine council members. Each member is voted for by the Tule River Tribal Members. The elected officials then decide who among them will hold the executive offices. 
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 1974
Executive Officers:   Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer 


Language Classification:

Language Dialects: Over 50 dialects of primarily the Yocuts language were originally spoken on this reservation.

Number of fluent Speakers:



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies:

In 1917, some Kitanemuk people lived on the reservation, as well.

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Tule River Legends / Oral Stories:

Painted Rock is a formation located next to the Tule River, on the Reservation. Many of the stories told by the elders of the Tule River Indian reservation have been recorded on this rock.

Art & Crafts:

Baskets were traditionally used for cooking, gathering and storage. They were woven from materials such as  pine needles, willow, and sour berry. Basket weaving is a revived art amoung the Tule River Indian Tribe.





Economy Today:

Eagle Mountain Casino
Eagle Mountain Casino is the only full service casino in Tulare County offering local residents gaming 24 hours a day. With over 1400 of the newest slot machines, 12 table games, live poker tournaments, the River Steakhouse and many other dining options.

Tule River Aero Industries
Tule River Aero-Industries is a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) facility that is an FAA major engine and airframe repair station equipped with a full line aircraft sales department. TRAI is a unique blend of entrepreneurship, aviation, public and private cooperation with Native American culture. Having service expertise in both general and business aviation aircraft.

Eagle Feather Trading Post
Eagle Feather Trading Post is one of the largest convenience stores in Tulare County, located on Hwy 190 just above Lake Success. The store has a full line of groceries; cold beer, wine, fishing and bait supplies. They carry National and Native brands of cigarettes and tobacco products. Gas, diesel, and propane are the cheapest price available. Subway sandwich shop is located within the store. For the RVers they also have a free dump station and a pet run. Plenty of parking is available for customers, with security on site 24 hours a day.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs


Famous Yocuts

Catastrophic Events:

By the end of the 19th century, their population was reduced by 75% due to warfare and high fatalities from European diseases. The ravages of disease were compounded by injustice and starvation.  In 1860 the Indian population in California was only 20% of what it had been ten years earlier.

Tribe History:

Following the Tule River Indian War of 1856, a farm attached to the Tejon Agency was established in 1858 at the base of the foothills, near the present town of Porterville. The farm was established on 1,280 acres (5.2 km2) on the South Fork of Tule River. In 1860, Thomas Madden, an Indian service employee, gained personal title to the Tule River Farm, by using state school warrants. The federal government rented the Tule River Farm and paid Madden $1,000 per year.

In 1864, the Tule River Farm became the Tule River Reservation, one of five Indian reservations authorized by Congress.

Tribes represented on the original reservation were the Koyeti, Yaudanchi, Chunuts, Yokodo, Kaweah, Wukchumne, Punkalachi, Kumachisi, Yowlumne, according to historical records.

The total acreage of the first reservation was 1,280 acres, and in 1864 the population there was 800 Indian people

When the United States defeated the Native Americans in the Owens Valley Indian War of 1863, they were removed to the reservation, whose population nearly doubled.

Tule River Indian War of 1856

In the News:

Further Reading:


US Tribes T to V
About nativelady

Leave a Reply