Blue Lake Rancheria

Mailing Address

428 Chartin Road
Blue Lake, CA 95525

Contact Information

707-668-5101

Website

http://www.bluelakerancheria-nsn.gov/

Casino(s)

Cultural History

The Blue Lake Rancheria's history can be traced back to centuries ago. However, it was in 1775 where the first non Native ships first arrived in the Trinidad Bay. During this time, about one thousand to four thousand Native Americans were already settled in the Greater Humboldt Bay Area. It was also during this time that they have already started living the traditional Native American life. From then on, several other nations thrived in the area and most of them were Russian who were fur traders. These Russian fur traders not only visited for the fur but also to do hunting. They established a harmonic relationship with the other tribesmen. 
 
When 1849 came, the predicament of the Blue Lake Rancheria tribe flourished because of the California Gold Rush. When it began, several opportunists came to the area for mining purposes. The non-natives progressed during the 1850’s up to the 1860's. It was then during this time that they not only started mining but went up to the river valleys as well. They also searched for timber. The eradication of the natives became more dominant in the 1860’s when more and more non-natives started seeing the potential of the native land. They were literally thrown out of their homelands without even having to fight for their rights. They were attacked and many were killed. The attacks were mostly in the Wiyot, Yurok, Tolowa and Cherokee. The remaining tribesmen were forced to leave and build a community elsewhere. They found themselves in the mountains and when they tried to redeem their homeland, the volunteer militias terminated them.
 
Thus, the 1860's were the time of hardship and violence against the natives. On February 25, 1860 one of the most dramatic massacres happened when the businessmen from Eureka slaughtered several Indians.
 
Several Indians were also attacked in the Humboldt Bay where over 200 women and their children were killed. Of this morbid massacre, only two Wiyot women and twelve children survived. 
 
The membership of the tribe continued to decline throughout the eighteenth century. Most of the reasons were the mass killings, diseases and starvation. In fact, of the four thousand tribesmen in the Humboldt area, only one hundred to three hundred were left in the early nineteenth century.
 
In 1983, the tribe was recognized once again as a federally-recognized Native American Tribe. They lost their recognition six years prior to the re-acknowledgement. With their newly recognized nation, they started building up their community along with the rights that come with it such as self-governance. They are now located 91 acres near Blue Lake, 17 miles north of Eureka and 5 miles east of Arcata. 

Today, the tribe has come a long way towards their success. The tribe now focuses on the economic growth to sustain their needs. The Blue Lake Rancheria tribal Government spearheads their enterprises as well as the tribe’s welfare. The Blue Lake Casino is their primary business earning them more and more revenues every year.

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