A Second Century of Dishonor : Federal Inequities and California Tribes, ch.II

II. Studies that Document Funding Inequities Affecting California Tribes

The refrain keeps repeating, but no one seems to hear. Anyone reviewing the last century of federal policy toward California Indians will be struck by the conclusions reached over and over in government and private studies: California Indians are not receiving a fair share from federal Indian programs. The convergence of opinion is remarkable, especially since the authors of these studies take pains to document their claims. Agencies operating under both Republican and Democratic administrations, at both the federal and state level, have joined this particular chorus.

In chronological order, here are the salient statements from these reports that document the plight of California Indians and compare federal treatment of California tribes with the treatment of tribal groups elsewhere.
1883:  "Report on the Condition and Needs of the Mission Indians of California, Made by
        Special Agents Helen Jackson and Abbot Kinney, to the Commissioner of Affairs." 1

1906:  "Report of Special Agent C.E. Kelsey to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs." 3

1926:  "Transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California."4

1937:  "Report of the Secretary of the Interior on Senate Bill 1651 and Senate Bill 1779,
        to Amend the California Indian Jurisdictional Act of May 18, 1928."

1944:  "The Status of the Indian in California Today, A Report by John G. Rockwell,
        Superintendent of the Sacramento Agency to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs."

1969:  "Final Report to the Governor and the Legislature by the State Advisory Commission
        on Indian Affairs."

1969:  "Report of United States Senate Special Subcommittee on Indian Education
        of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare."

1972:  "Statement of Senator John Tunney before the United States Senate:
        Discrimination against California Indians." 9

1973:  "Indian Eligibility for Bureau Services -- A Look at Tribal Recognition and Individual Rights
        to Services." 10

1976:  "Study by the Department of Housing and Community Development, State of California."

1977:  "A Report to the Commissioner of the B.I.A. Regarding Funding of Bureau Programs
          in the Sacramento Area." 11

1984:  "Report of the California Indian Task Force." 13

1989:  "Bureau of Indian Affairs, Resource Allocation Effectiveness Study."


  1. Reprinted as Appendix XV in Helen Hunt Jackson, "A Century of Dishonor" (1885).
  2. Id.at 459.
  3. This report was commissioned by act of the U.S. Congress. 33 Stat. 1058 (1905).
  4. "Indians in California," in "Transactions of the Commonwealth Club of California", Vol. XXI, No. 3, June 8, 1926.
  5. Id. at 106.
  6. C. Goodrich, "The Legal Status of the California Indian," 14 "California Law Review" 83, 97 (1926). Chauncey Goodrich was a member of the Indian Section of the Commonwealth Club and conducted his research for this article under the auspices of the club. Goodrich relied on Indian Bureau figures in official reports to calculate that annual expenditures for fiscal year 1923-24 were $29.00 per capita for California Indians and $40.00 per capita for all other Indians. If one excluded from the latter statistic the fee-simple allotted Indians who has been "so largely released from federal guardianship," the $40.00 figure increased to $66.00 per capita for Indians outside of California. Id.at n.55.
  7. "Report" at pages iii, 128.
  8. "Final Report to the Governor and the Legislature by the California State Advisory Commission on Indian Affairs" 12 (1969).
  9. "Congressional Record", May 31, 1972, S8591.
  10. Report to the BIA, Ernest Stevens and John Jollie, co-chairs.
  11. Prepared by William D. Oliver, former Administrative Officer to the Sacramento Area, at the request of the Sacramento Area Indian Advisory Board.
  12. In making these calculations, the author compared only expenditures for programs that existed at Sacramento as well as the other B.I.A. area offices.
  13. This task force was appointed by Secretary of Interior William Clark during the Ronald Reagan administration.
  14. "Report of the California Indian Task Force" at 2 and 12-13 (1984).

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