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Paiute Indians land dispute

Paiute Indians land dispute

Aug. 13, 1972: The caption with the article in that day’s Los Angeles Times stated: “Mrs. Lucille Gilbert, a full-blooded Paiute, stands outside her shack at edge of Bridgeport and hopes that United States will give Indian colony 20 acres of vacant federal land. She is one of about 60 members of group. In the background is Cecil Rambeau, her cousin.”

The members of the Paiute Indian colony in Central California’s Mono County, near Nevada, had long thought they owned the land through 1850s-era treaties.  But 18 treaties negotiated in 1851 and 1852 with California Indians were never ratified by the United State Senate.

Ownership of their 20 acres had slipped into private hands. The Bridgeport Paiute Colony now faced possible eviction. But in 1974, President Gerald Ford signed a bill by Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) handing over 40 acres of adjacent federal land.

This photo by L.A. Times photographer John Malmin accompanied an in-depth article by Times staff writer Jack Jones on the plight of the Bridgeport Paiute Indian Colony.


  1. October 20, 2010, 3:47 pm

    It's Mono County, not Mona County.

    By: bre
  2. December 20, 2011, 2:11 pm

    Yes there were 18 Unratified Treaties but there was the treaty that was ratified in 1850 and signed in 1849. This Treaty is in Federal Court now because the Paiutes that are under it were held as slaves until 1924. And we now have the ability to try to reenter into negotiations with the Federal government for our rights under the Treaty. The people under this Treaty are the largest Tribe in California and were the first to have a Reservation, Tejon/Sebastian Reservation. Now we have no Reservation and are not Recognized by the Federal Government because of our right to claim under Treaty. Genocide seems to still be the rule of law.
    Chair David Laughing Horse Robinson, Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon

    By: Horse.Robinson
  3. February 29, 2012, 11:55 am

    I rember as a younger man, we would travel to Bridgeport and playhandgame with our relations from there. Its sad to hear about our people in these time we are steal having our lands taken away. What more do the non-native people wont ? Very sad!!!

    By: Roger DeSoto

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