Wednesday, April 16, 2014

True Shingle Springs Miwoks


Louie L. Smith Sr. was a true Shingle Springs Miwok. He was born in Shingle Springs in 1902 on Oct. 15. He lived in El Dorado County his whole life. He worked at Limestone Mine. He was 88 years old and living with me when he crossed over.

My grandfather would be 111 years old this year. I just wanted to wish him happy 111th and say I have not forgotten the promise I made, not to forget that we are Shingle Springs Miwoks. Unlike the group of people John Terrell found on a river, in a different county.

When this group moved onto the Shingle Springs Miwok Reservation in the 1980s, they were known as the Verona Band of Hawaiians and Maidus, not Miwoks. This group of people voted themselves Shingle Springs Miwoks without permission or any bloodline ties to the original Miwok families. The Smith family has seven generations who have lived in Shingle Springs long before California became a state, and we are still here in Shingle Springs. Our tribe has a peace treaty with the U.S. government, Cassumis River Treaty in the 1800s, plus we partook in the 1934 IRA Indian Reorganization Act. We have proof of everything I have just stated and more.

I, Louie L. Smith, III, say this to the Miwoks who have lived and died in Shingle Springs, “You have not been forgotten, and as long as I breathe I will fight to prove who the real Shingle Springs Miwoks are.” I love all my Miwok kin that live now and the ones that have crossed over. If all the government agencies would just ask for Tribal Identification, the group claiming to be us might be pressing license plates instead of living on our ancestral land, since many laws and regulations have been broken by them.

Shingle Springs

Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 23 comments

  • Kathleen Dauksavage TisdallOctober 29, 2013 - 12:06 pm

    EDITOR: As I read this letter from Louie L. Smith, III tears come to my eyes and i feel sad. How can such an injustice continue when all the facts are so clear? To have your identity taken and your home is a travesty. I hope and pray that during my time I will see that the "true" El Dorado Miwoks regain what is theirs, their "LIFE". Kathleen Dauksavaage Tisdall

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  • TiffanyDecember 17, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Kathleen, it is a damn shame you have obviously done no research on this subject. The Miwoks that are on the Shingle Springs Reservation are the same ones who have been there for almost 100 years.

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  • BonnieDecember 17, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    Tiffany you are the one that needs to get her facts straight!

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  • 1036-FrankDecember 11, 2013 - 9:52 am

    The local tribal identity of who the real Miwok are seems clear enough. They have to be all of the native foothill people here before the Verona's from the valley arrived through recent federal relocations to become the casino tribe. Seems to me the same case could be easily proven in federal court regardless of how many attorneys are used to oppose it.

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  • Vic SubiaDecember 11, 2013 - 10:38 am

    This is a confusing and stressful situation. Would DNA testing help clear up the question of who is and who is not a Miwok?

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  • norman shumwayDecember 11, 2013 - 6:17 pm

    Perhaps Vern Pierson can add more charges to Mr. Nuttings case because he admitted in front of three indigenous Miwoks that he knew the people on the Rancheria were not Indians, but, they paid a significant part of the County's expenses. I believe that's called bribery.

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  • EvelynDecember 11, 2013 - 6:20 pm

    Who, then, was the recipient of the bribery?

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  • norman shumwayDecember 12, 2013 - 10:17 am

    That would be Ray Nutting, who is a frequent "guest" of the Red Hawk.

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  • EvelynDecember 12, 2013 - 10:20 am

    And yet you wrote: "they paid a significant part of the County's expenses".

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  • norman shumwayDecember 12, 2013 - 5:44 pm

    That's right Evelyn! When the group of people on the Rancheria pay the County to do business by illegally representing themselves as something they are not, and Mr. Nutting is aware of same. That's called bribery, since Mr. Nutting is an agent of the county.

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  • EvelynDecember 12, 2013 - 5:53 pm

    Mr Shumway: I'm perfectly prepared to believe that "odd" profitable -- to individuals and groups/institutions -- arrangements were made. I guess what I'm getting at is this: Was Mr. Nutting more "in the know" than other supervisors (or county employees) and/or did he uniquely benefit?

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  • In EldoradoDecember 12, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    For anyone who's been paying attention over the years this "Tale of two tribes" is pretty self-explanatory. As everyone knows, years & years ago the Verona band of Miwoks, (Miwoks with some Hawaiians and Maidus) along with the El Dorado Miwok band were all thrown together as one Shingle Springs tribe by the U.S. Government and most stuck out on the Shingle Springs Rancheria. At some point the El Dorado Miwok band felt they were too good to be lumped in with the Verona Miwok/Maidus band, so the El Dorado band who lived on Rancheria up and left... Then, many decades pass and we find the Verona band has built a huge beautiful new casino, a new state of the art medical center, new homes and income for it tribal members and has provided the County with an HOV lane along with paying a significant part of the County's other expenses. On the other hand the El Dorado tribe that once was too good for the Verona band still amounts to zero, nothing, most have spent their lives drunk, fighting and in & out of jail. But, somehow they do find the time to still whine & bi*ch about the success of the Verona band and say their identity was stolen. Really?. My guess is If the Verona band was still living in shabby old trailers out on the Rancheria you wouldn't be hearing squat out of the "True" El Dorado band of Miwoks. Blah,blah, blah. They should be embarrassed for themselves, and Norman Shumway needs to get both a clue and a life.

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  • larry walksfar johnsonDecember 13, 2013 - 4:53 pm

    to in eldorado since you didn't identify your self you must be connected to the band of "lyin hawaiians" the true miwoks were denied the infrastructure to make living on the small reservation even possiable.You need to get your facts correct before you spit out the same false B.S.the Verona's have put out for decades. Your blah,blah,blah,comments show your willingness to pervert the truth in order to justify the casino indians crimes.There are proceedings currently in federal court to undo the injustices that the Verona's have done to the true Shingle Springs Miwoks.Of course they have the money and they believe they are untouchable and they may be right for now,but the facts will win out in the end.The truth is the only thing that matters in the final judgement.There is one other thing on our side that they don't have, that is the "Blood of the Ancestors" which has been shed on this county since time inmemorial.

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  • WesDecember 14, 2013 - 5:01 pm

    To mr. Johnson My my people have suffered under your society for decades,and have been misrepresented by the Verona band. You need yor facts set straight. If you need any information I would be more than happy to meet with you.

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  • larry walksfar johnsonDecember 28, 2013 - 5:18 pm

    hey wes we are on the same side of this and i think you misunderstood my points

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  • LocalDecember 14, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    To mr Johnson You know nothing of the true miwoks from this area. Your smart remarks and offensive comments are very rude. Your facts are false and your bla bla bla is ignorant. Do some research before you open your mouth and make your self sound stupid and childish.

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  • larry walksfar johnsonDecember 28, 2013 - 5:50 pm

    to local first I would say if the casino Indians are so righteous then why don't they use their real tribal name instead using another tribes name,or at least share the wealth they are receiving by using that name with the true descendants of the Shingle Springs Miwoks who make it possible. As for my facts and knowledge of this tribe.27yrs ago I was lucky enough to marry one the tribal maidens who's roots go deeper in this area than the tallest pines.So her battles&struggles became mine decades ago,Now that you know who's dog I have in this fight where do you get your facts? Or do you just pass along hearsay and false info thinking that you know something we don't.

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  • rodDecember 12, 2013 - 11:33 pm

    The only indigenous peoples still live in the Rift Valley. Emigrés of the Rift Valley, which is everyone else, are indigenous to the Earth. "We cannot live in the past... and still expect a future".

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  • Phil_VeerkampDecember 13, 2013 - 5:57 am

    OH come on, Rod!!! Your premise leads to "San Stino YES" and crabby NIMBYS. Back off ferchrisakes!

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  • robertdnollDecember 15, 2013 - 5:51 am

    if the indians had just gotten around to inventing the wheel they might have been in a better condition today

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  • MSDecember 16, 2013 - 4:06 pm

    The facts are, two separate pieces of land were put in trust for two different tribes, one for the El Dorado Indians called the Dorado Rancheria, and the other for the landless Verona and Sacramento Indians. The Dorado, or El Dorado, Rancheria was occupied by the Padilla family; in 1966, the Padillas elected to have the land deeded to them in fee, a transfer done in March of 1966. At this point, the land became the private property of the Padillas. The Veronas land remained a reservation, identified as the Shingle Springs Rancheria, or Shingle Springs Rancheria (Verona Tract) of Miwok Indians. The people now on the Shingle Springs Rancheria did nothing wrong to the El Dorado Miwoks, they're just working hard to make a better life for themselves. It's unfortunate that the El Dorado Band no longer has a reservation, but it's useless to blame those who don't deserve it.

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  • Louie SmithDecember 17, 2013 - 10:13 am

    Dear MS, You are either a Hawaiian or a friend of those miss informed individuals. When Terrell first wrote to the B.I.A about these people, they sent back a letter and asked Terrell if he was out of his mind. They stated then that these people were Hawaiian and was not entitled to any land.,unless they were to marry into a California tribe. And even then it would only be that person, not their whole group/ And since none of them married into our tribe {Shingle Springs Miwok}, who voted in the 1034 IRA, and has a peace treaty with the Government: then that would conclude even to the children at Buckeye where all our elders attended, that these people don;t belong on our land. So with that said, let your friends know that we are more that ready to see them in court to settle this matter ! We did nit have to vote ourselves Miwok we were born Miwok,, unlike this group of cheap imitations. Louie L. Smith III

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  • MSDecember 17, 2013 - 2:47 pm

    I just pay attention, Louie. Since you mentioned court, how's that going? You seem confident that you're an excellent source to verify rumors, so is the El Dorado tribe in the process now of taking them to court, or is that just up and coming?

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