Rumsey Indian Rancheria

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 18
Brooks, CA 95606

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Rumsey Indian Rancheria are a Wintun tribe that shares both the rich history of their heritage tribe and the individual history of the past two centuries. This shared history has helped the Rumsey Indian Rancheria create a unique, individual identity that has followed the tribe to this day.

The origins of the Wintun tribe can be traced back thousands of years. The Indians of the tribe lived naturally, as most did back then, and used nature to its benefit. Their lifestyle, however, was drastically changed with the arrival of foreign explorers. Not only was their land taken by the English and later the Americans, their population was also decimated by diseases and illnesses that they had never faced before. Unfortunately, these twin disasters followed the Rumsey Indian Rancheria throughout their early years.

The survivors of the aforementioned diseases had their own set of problems as well. Although the government gave the Rumsey Indian Rancheria a reservation to live on and own, they forced the proud tribe off of the land they had long lived on. Even worse, the area in Rumsey given to the tribe was small and did not resemble the illustrious land the tribe once lived on. After a rough and frustrating start to their life on the reservation, many of the tribe decided to leave their people. Because the area given was tiny and far from other cities, it was impossible for members of the tribe to support themselves. 

An unfortunate result to these early years was that the tribe, and neighboring tribes, found themselves without many familiar faces. Those who chose to stay with the group were dependent on external factors and without economic wealth. It wasn’t until the early-1980s that the tribe was finally able to come out of the shadows of their past.

A boon for the Rumsey Indian Rancheria when the great state of California passed a law to allow gambling on Indian reservations. Gambling and casinos have traditionally been a method used by many tribes to earn incomes and create jobs, and the Rumsey Indian Rancheria were no different. Their endeavor began as a simple bingo hall with a couple of normal casino games, but after a steady decade of management and growth, this enterprise was further expanded.

Today, the Rumsey Indian Rancheria own a full-fledged casino that is very successful and helps the tribe sustain itself without aid from the United States government. Their early years of poverty and hardships have long been forgotten by the current generation, who enjoy both economic and social success due to their casino operations. And while there is no guarantee that there won’t be future troubles for the Rumsey Indian Rancheria, it is clear that they are better equipped to deal with them now.

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