The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is a federally recognized Indian Tribe of Tolowa Indians. The Nation is located 3 miles south of the Oregon-California border in Northwest California. The Tribe’s general membership consists of 1,700+ members governed by a 7 member Tribal Council elected by the general membership. Tribal Council members are: Denise Richards-Padgette, Chairperson; Jeri Thompson, Vice Chairperson; Leann McCallum, Secretary; Cari Nelson, Treasurer; Marvin Richards Sr, Kara Brundin-Miller, Dr. Joseph Giovannetti Council members.
Tribal operations are administered by Executive Director, Troy Ralstin. Other departments include; Fiscal, Environmental Programs, Housing, Language Preservation, Native American Graves and Repatriation (NAGPRA), Community and Family Services, Grants and Contracts, Maintenance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Enrollment, and Clerical Support.
Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation property holdings include a drinking water system, Tribal Administrative Offices, Gaming Agency Offices, Senior Apartments, Howonquet Cemetery, Prince Island, UIHS Medical/Dental Clinic, Xaa-wan'-k'wvt (Howonquet) Early Learning Program and the Xaa-wan'-k'wvt (Howonquet) Hall Community Center. Other lands are reserved for future use.
Enterprise holdings include Lucky 7 casino, Lucky 7 Fuel Mart Howonquet Lodge, Xaa-wan’-k’-wvt Village and Resort and Xaa-wan'-k'wvt (Howonquet) Early Learning Program.
Our enrollment consists of people who are descended from the native inhabitants of the tribe's ancestral territories; specifically, the land bounded by Wilson Creek to the south, Sixes River to the North, Point St. George to the west and the Coastal Range watershed to the east.
The Tolowa people have survived a history of continued removal, genocide and discrimination within thier homelands by the explorers, settlers, miners and ranchers who "colonized" the area.
In 1906 the "Landless California Indians Act", also called the "Rancheria Act" was established. The Act made appropriations for the purchase of lands for landless Indians; but in 1960, the Federal trust relationship with the Tolowa people was terminated and community lands were allotted to individuals.
In 1983 the Tillie Hardwick class action lawsuit was settled; overturning the "termination" of 1960. The center of the decision rested on the fact that the Tolowa people in Smith River, along with 13 other Tribes, never stopped acting as a government.
Our Government, Culture and Traditions survived colonialism and termination because we persisted and never gave up our identities. We continue our traditions of a strong government with comprehensive Tribal programs and our Culture with traditional activities.
Tolowa Dee-ni Nation and it's subsidiary operations contribute to the local economy in several ways.
Lucky 7 Casino, Lucky 7 Fuel Mart, House of Howonquet Resturant, Howonquet Day Care and Tribal Administration employ approximately 200 people. The combined gross annual payroll exceeds 4 million dollars. Our employees pay all applicable local, state, and federal payroll taxes. The Tribe also contributes to the community in the form of direct donations.