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Wiyot Tribe facts for kids

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Wiyot Tribe
Total population
(97 enrolled members)
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( California)
English, formerly Wiyot
traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Wiyot people, Yurok people

The Wiyot Tribe is a federally recognized tribe of Wiyot people. They are the aboriginal people of Humboldt Bay, Mad River, and lower Eel River.

Other Wiyot people are enrolled in the Blue Lake Rancheria, Rohnerville Rancheria, and Trinidad Rancherias.


The Wiyot Reservation or Table Bluff Rancheria is located 16 miles south of Eureka, California. The reservation is 88-acres large with 550 Indian residents. It was established in 1908, when a church donated 20 acres of land to the Wiyots. The rancheria was formally recognized by the government in 1981 and 102 acres was purchased for the tribe. The rancheria is a locality in Humboldt County, California. It lies at an elevation of 236 feet (72 m). The land is also known as the "Old Reservation" for the Wiyot. As of the 2010 Census the population was 103.


English is commonly spoken by the tribe. The Wiyot language belongs to the Ritwan branch of Algic languages. The language is written in the Latin script, and a dictionary and grammar has been published for Wiyot. The last fluent speaker of Wiyot died in 1962.


Prior to European contact, Wiyot people numbered approximately 2,000. They first encountered Europeans in 1802. Non-native settlers overran Wiyote lands during the California Gold Rush during 1849. Wiyots were killed in the Rogue River Indian War in 1852. On 26 February 1860, as the Wiyote people were celebrating their world renewal ceremony, European-American people ambushed Wiyot elders, women, and children in the (Wiyot Massacre, now known as the Indian Island Massacre) on what is now Gunther Island. The young men were off collecting supplies for the next day's ceremony leaving the village defenseless, allowing for a group of men from Eureka (who had been planning the massacre) to row across the bay carrying silent weapons (to avoid alarming the nearby city). When the men came back their families were piled up leaving only one survivor, a hidden infant. Two other villages were massacred that night. Post massacre numbers were estimated to be around 200.

Coordinates: 40°41′02″N 124°14′44″W / 40.68389°N 124.24556°W / 40.68389; -124.24556

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