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Native American Tribes of California

Welcome to our California State Facts section, part of an educational project designed to provide information about indigenous people in different U.S. states. Follow the links to the right of our tribal map for more information about the language, culture and history of each California tribe, or scroll below the map for California Indian activities including a wordsearch, fact sheets, and words from the Native American languages of California. Feel free to print any of these materials out for classroom use!

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American Indians in California

The original inhabitants of the area that is now California included:

*The Achumawi tribe
*The Atsugewi tribe
*The Cahuilla tribe
*The Chemehuevi tribe
*The Chilula tribe
*The Chimariko tribe
*The Chumash tribe
*The Cocopah tribe
*The Cupeno tribe
*The Diegueno (Kumeyaay) tribe
*The Esselen tribe
*The Gabrielino (Tongva) tribe
*The Halchidhoma tribe
*The Hupa tribe
*The Juaneno tribe
*The Karok tribe
*The Kashaya tribe
*The Kato tribe
*The Kawaiisu tribe
*The Kitanemuk tribe
*The Klamath tribe
*The Konkow tribe
*The Lassik tribe
*The Luiseno tribe
*The Maidu tribe
*The Mattole tribe
*The Miwok tribe
*The Modoc tribe
*The Mojave tribe
*The Mono tribe
*The Nisenan tribe
*The Nomlaki tribe
*The Nongatl tribe
*The Northern Paiute tribe
*The Ohlone (Costanoan) tribe
*The Panamint tribe
*The Patwin tribe
*The Pomo tribe
*The Quechan tribe
*The Salinan tribe
*The Serrano tribe
*The Shasta tribe
*The Shoshoni tribe
*The Sinkyone tribe
*The Southern Paiute tribe
*The Tataviam tribe
*The Tolowa tribe
*The Tubatulabal tribe
*The Wailaki tribe
*The Wappo tribe
*The Washoe tribe
*The Whilkut tribe
*The Wintu tribe
*The Wiyot tribe
*The Yana and Yahi tribes
*The Yokuts tribe
*The Yuki tribe
*The Yurok tribe

Teaching and learning activities about California Indians:

Feel free to print these out to use at school!

*California Tribes Word Search: Printable puzzle hiding the names of California's Indian tribes.
*California Language Greetings: Learn to say "hello" in several Native California languages.
*California Native Animals: Learn the Native American names of California animals.
*California Indian Facts for Kids: Answers to frequently asked questions about the tribes of California.
    We currently have pages for the Shoshone, Mojave, Chumash, Hupa, Tongva, Maidu, Miwok, Pomo, Wintu, Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute, Chemehuevi, Cocopah, Cupeno, Luiseno, Quechan, Cahto, Klamath, Modoc, Tolowa, Wailaki, Yuki, Achumawi, Atsugewi, Karok, Wiyot and Yurok tribes.

Recommended books about California Native Americans
(Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links)

*California Native Peoples:
     Introducing California's Native American history and culture to kids.
*Native America: California Indians: * California Native Americans:
    Two more useful books about California Indian tribes for kids.
*The California Indians:
     History and lifeways of California's Native American peoples.
*Handbook of the Indians of California * Tribes of California:
    Classic anthropological texts on the Native American cultures of California.
*The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs & Reminiscences:
     Collection of oral histories from California native tribes.
*Surviving Through The Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs:
     Excellent collection of California Indian literature.
*Flutes of Fire: The Indian Languages of California * California Indian Languages:
    Interesting books about Native California languages.
*The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry * California Indian Baskets:
    Beautiful coffee-table books on the basket art of California Native Americans.
*Indians of California: The Changing Image: * California Indians and their Environment:
    Two good books on the overall history of California Native American tribes.
*Digger: The Tragic Fate of the California Indians from the Missions to the Gold Rush
* Murder State: California's Native American Genocide
* Burnt-Out Fires: California's Modoc Indian War
* Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers:
    Four good history books about the California Indians and their interactions with white settlers.
*Grass Games and Moon Races: California Indian Games and Toys:
     An interesting book of traditional pastimes in California Indian tribes.
*Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider: A California Indian Feast:
     A book of recipes and essays about California Native American food.
*The Heart Is Fire: The World of the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California:
     Fascinating mosaic of stories told by five California Indian elders.
*Our Home Forever: The Hupa Indians of Northern California:
     Excellent history of one California Indian tribe by a Hupa author.

Other resources about American Indian history, culture and society in California state:

*California Native American Heritage Commission:
     Native organization preserving and protecting California Indian relics and traditions.
*California Rural Indian Heath Board:
     Providing health care and social services to California Native Indians.
*California Nations Indian Gaming Association:
     Coalition of tribal governments overseeing the regulation of Indian casinos in California.
*California Indian Legal Services:
     Native-owned law firm serving California's Indian tribes and tribal members.
*Southern California Indian Center:
     LA-based intertribal community center.
*Indian Tribes in California:
     Map of California Indian reservations with background information on each group.
*Survey of California Indian Languages:
     Information from Berkeley University about the Native languages of California.
*A History of American Indians in California:
     Articles on California Indian history from the National Park Service.
*California Indian Artifact Gallery:
     Photographs of California Indian baskets, pottery, and other artifacts from the Kumeyaay Museum.
*The Religion of the Indians of California:
     Complete e-text of an anthropology book on the native religions of the major tribes of California.
California Native Plant Uses:
     Ethnobotany study on the traditional use of flowers, trees, and plants by the native tribes of California.
California Indian Baskets:
     California Native baskets and other art for sale online. With many photographs.
Variations on Native Californian Themes:
     Guitar adaptations of traditional California Indian music.
California Culture:
     California Indian links pages.

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