John Sutter Enslaved Native Americans...

diane

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You can't walk through Sacramento Valley without tripping over something dedicated to John Sutter. There are MANY statues and monuments and parks named after Sutter and people who were worse. It's very much like the Confederate statues, parks and monuments in the South. The Kelsey Brothers - mentioned in a previous thread, Ben Wright the Knight of the West...These guys make one wonder why pick on Columbus! Like the South, California is coming to a reckoning with this history.

By the way, see if you can pick up a California state history book from the 1950s or 1960s. It will, again, bring forth images of the South at that same time. Indians are either mentioned as extinct or as diggers - illustrated as hunched over ragged creatures snuffling about stabbing the ground with sticks... One must remember most of the pictures of California Indians were taken well after death, doom and despair struck. We did not look our best!
 

diane

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Here is a map of California Native tribes...

View attachment 6811
This map is rather inaccurate but ok! You can see where the densest population was - the mountains and rivers along the Northwest Coast. That is where some of the worst of California's history with Natives happened.
 

diane

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May I refer you to the Religious Crimes Code of 1883. That act outlawed all religious, spiritual, ceremonial dances and events except those approved by Indian agents. This was enacted to prevent resistance to assimilation policies of the US government. It was a direct outcome of Ulysses Grant's Peace Policy, in which a number of Protestant Christian denominations were allowed to teach various tribes. It had an interesting outcome in some cases. Downriver tribes were assigned to the Pentecostal churches and still largely are, but the old beliefs were more or less transferred. (I know there's a term for this but can't think of it right now.) So, you have the Indian Shakers. They are Christian and Native, with many old customs and ways merely given Christian names. It's kind of like many Lutheran churches in areas of large Norwegian populations have dragons on their churches - dragons have nothing to do with Christianity but a lot to do with the old Norse beliefs.

The Shastas took to the Ghost Dance very devoutly. The downriver people like the Karuks and Hupa didn't join, there was a much stronger belief in the east with the Modocs, Yahoosin, Rogues and other tribes who were more vulnerable to government intrusions. The Big Head cult was an offshoot of the Ghost Dance, very much like the Kuksu cult, and it was important in the far north of California but the Oregon tribes didn't accept it.

It isn't old history, either. My family had sacred bundles and other articles confiscated in the late 70s under various environmental laws and some of them (that could be found) were only recently repatriated under the 1994 American Indian Religious Freedom Act. 1994. Think about that. Indians got citizenship in 1924 but it was 70 years later for them to receive the religious freedom guaranteed to every citizen under the First Amendment.
 

5fish

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Here mountains ...


The Sutter Buttes (Maidu: Histum Yani or Esto Yamani, Wintun: Olonai-Tol, Nisenan: Estom Yanim) are a small circular complex of eroded volcanic lava domes which rise as buttes above the flat plains of the Sacramento Valley in Sutter County, northern California. They are situated just outside Yuba City in the northern part of the state's Central Valley.
 
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