Tribal Affiliation

I am an Indian of Pomo descent, registered with the Round Valley Indian Tribe in Covelo, CA.  My ancestors were originally from what is now Fort Bragg before they were forced to relocate to Round Valley.  Chased with guns and bull whips, the Pomo and four other tribes were forced inland to Round Valley - which was land that had belonged to the Yuki people since the beginning of time.  The Yuki were forced to share their land with these five other tribes.  The story is long and very gruesome, but a good read for anyone who is curious about Native American history in Northern California.  Today, the confederated tribes that came together and make up Round Valley are the Yuki, Pit River, Pomo, Nomlacki, Concow, and Wailacki.   

​The Pomo were peaceful people who were known as some of the “finest” basket makers in America.  They were renowned for their use of feathers and shells.  In fact, my 2nd great-grandmother, Emily Graves, was known as one of the best in the valley.  I am also related to one of the last known duly elected Pomo chiefs.  Today, many Pomo people are still commonly found inhabiting Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, and Sonoma counties.  Two of which (Sonoma & Humboldt) I have resided in unexpectedly and unintentionally.

My grandmother, Gladys Campbell-Afzal, was my last known direct relative who was raised on the reservation.   She was the 8th of 10 children and used to tell me cool stories about what it was like growing up on the reservation.   My mom would also tell me stories about how exciting it was to visit her grandparents each year and see the different way of life from what many of us are accustomed to.   We often take what we have for granted and don't realize how different life could have been if our ancestors didn't make moves.   For instance, Round Valley only recently got Wifi on the reservation thanks to one of the COVID relief bills that made this happen.   Despite what assumptions people make, many California and Nevada tribes are still quite poor.  While many early settlers profited off of gold and silver, it is clear that natives didn't get any part of what was found on their land.  What tribal members get a lot of times may seem like a lot to many, but it is quite little for what they could have had.   I am grateful for everything I have received from my tribal membership, but it will NEVER make up for what my ancestors went through for me to be here.  There isn't a way to make it up to the people who truly suffered, but while we are unable to change the past, we can change the future.