Disturbingly, the bill’s proponents have no lineal connection to the original Rancheria. They are led by a Chico attorney — Tahj Gomes — who in 2016 identified himself in county minutes as the “Shasta Nation Etna Band Chair” but a few months later he testified to Congress that he was the “Chairman of the Ruffey Rancheria.” OP: LOL! Doesn't know WHO he is...today?
When a lawyer tells the county one story but Congress another, you start to ask questions. We, along with numerous tribes within California and Oregon have done so, resulting in the congressional record swelling to 13 letters exceeding 200 pages of materials.
What we do know is that the original Rancheria’s namesake — Old Man Ruffey — was documented by the Department of Interior in 1905 as a landless Karuk Indian living in Etna. In 1907, DOI purchased land in Etna and created the Ruffey Rancheria for Old Man Ruffey and others. In 1961, Congress ended its federal relationship with the Ruffey Rancheria and distributed its 441-acre reservation to the four remaining members who were Karuk relations of Old Man Ruffey. Those four members of the Ruffy Rancheria are deceased and it’s unknown whether they had children.
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