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Nevada County News

Posted on: December 16, 2020

Nevada County Supervisors Support Local Nisenan Tribe in Restoration of Federal Recognition

Nisenan 4

At Tuesday's December 15th Board of Supervisors meeting, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to support the restoration of Federal recognition of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. The County received 888 letters supporting the Tribe’s Federal recognition.

 “I know that the county is proud of our history. This history has been missing for quite some time. It has been decades long work, my mother before me and my grandfather before her, to get this history back into the history books,” said Shelly Covert, spokeswoman for the Nisenan Tribe. “For me, it all starts at home. Your support, our Board of Supervisors, helps us get to the next step to receiving federal recognition and is a critical piece to the survival of the Nisenan culture.”

The history pertaining to the Nisenan’s Federal recognition and its termination is complicated and includes unratified treaties, presidential action, congressional legislation, judicial judgments, and complicated and time-consuming administrative processes. The Nevada City Rancheria was created from an executive order by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913 from a land allotment obtained by Chief Charlie Cully in 1887. Cully's land on Cement Hill became Federal Trust Land and the Tribal government became a federally recognized entity.

The Nevada City Rancheria was one of 44 Rancherias illegally terminated in the 1950s and 1960s by the California Rancheria Termination Acts. Most have been restored. The action taken by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors is one on of many next steps towards Federal recognition for the Nevada City Nisenan Rancheria.

“As big as this step is, this is just one step in a long process towards Federal recognition for the Nisenan Tribe,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Heidi Hall. “We thank Shelly and the Nisenan Tribe for their continued advocacy for Federal recognition and we are happy to support this today.”

“I was honored to be able to co-sponsor this item coming before the Board today,” said District 4 Supervisor Sue Hoek. “We thank Shelly for all her advocacy and look forward to supporting the Rancheria Nisenan in their next steps.”

Learn more about the Nevada City Nisenan Rancheria tribe at and

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