Before the “Round-Up” of California Indians, villages varied in size from two-dozen to as many as several hundred individuals. Between 1952 and 1972 over 100,000 reservation Indians went through the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA’s) relocation program and resettled in metropolitan areas, including Sacramento. Many of these people continue to live, work, and maintain their families and extended families here, thus adding to the Urban Indian experience. Organizations that serve Indian people such as the Sacramento Native American Health Center, Inc. help urban Indians re-establish connections to culture, while caring for their holistic health needs.
While all areas of urban Indian country share similar challenges of housing, education, employment, healthcare, and maintaining united families, with cultural values and connection, the Sacramento region is unique. The combination of local tribal people and welcomed tribal family from other states creates a cultural richness that is rare and distinct, to the Sacramento area.
This is what constitutes our community. Indian people care about the community and each other, whether they live in the city or on the reservation, whether they are home or this is where they have made their homes. Rather than simply occupying a space within the melting pot of mainstream urban society, we are trying to create our own unique position—as dual citizens of (at least!) two nations—fully able to function in the modern world through a belief and reliance on traditional, tribal values.