Yosemite Valley Plan, A Threat To Indian Culture

Cultural Genocide

Important People Of Yosemite’s History – Not Miwok

Please Note:

All photos are under fair use for educational purposes.
They come from public sources.

PIC 1
Captain John, who was also referred to as Shibana or Poko-Tucket (Horse Eater). He was given the title Captain John after his father, Old Captain John, abdicated his title.
The older Captain John was becoming very tired and when he gave up his title it was during the time when Yosemite-Mono Lake Paiutes were going through a difficult time. The influx of non-Indians had overwhelmed the Indians with diseases and harmful vices. So the younger Captain John led his people through one of the most harshest times in Yosemite-Mono Lake Indian history. It was reported that the young Captain John was the leader of the Mono Paiutes who threw the rock, killing Chief Tenaya for the their betrayal.

PIC 2
It was told that the young Capt. John was the one who threw the rock on Tenaya’s head, killing him for his betrayal of the Mono Paiutes.
The Monos were really upset and felt betrayed by Tenaya after they hid in out and took care of him that he repaid them with theft of their horses.
So they killed Tenaya and decimated his band, but if you were to ask the employees of Yosemite they never heard of him.
They had a small photo of him in the Yosemite library, but they didn’t have his name on it, but it did say he was a Yosemite Chief.
They didn’t have a clue who he was; it is the photo in James Hutchings book “In the Heart of the Sierras” which included a photo of Capt. John titled “Typical Yosemite Indian”.
I also have seen it titled “Yosemite Chief”. Yet they didn’t know that was MONO LAKE PAIUTE CHIEF CAPTAIN JOHN who spent half of his time in between Yosemite and Mono Lakes since it was both the realm of the Paiutes.
On the Yosemite National park service website they have Francisco Georgely who was a Chowchilla Yokut from Firebaugh as a Miwok Chief…DRESSED MIND YOU, LIKE A YOKUT. That would’ve been the first clue for those who know these things that he was not a Miwok.

Instead of his picture the Yosemite NPS should the photo of Capt. John.
Captain John – It was told that

Capt Sam
One of the other famous Captains was Captain Sam (Saya-Wega-Node). Captain Sam was married to Susie Sam. Captain Sam was a Paiute and his wife Susie was Paiute or Paiute/Washoe. They had several children. They spent 1/2 year in Yosemite and rest of the year at Mono Lake or Coleville.
Most of their children and grandchildren were some of the most famous basket weavers of Yosemite and their baskets are well known and well renowned. Captain Sam along with Captain Jim established the Bridgeport Paiute Colony and Coleville Indian Colony.
Later after the death of Susie in August of 1903, Captain Sam married Maggie John. Maggie was the wife of Long Valley John, but married Captain Sam after Long Valley John’s death. The Sams/Toms spent most of their time between Bishop, Coleville, Mono Lake and Yosemite.

Susie Sam
A long time ago a couple of the old people said that Susie was related to Old Rube who was Paiute/Washo.
Susie died in the summer of 1903. About 30 years later her husband Captain Sam died.
Captain Sam later had married Maggie John, the wife of Captain John.
Susie was a “Yosemite Indian”, but being a Yosemite Indian does not mean she was a Miwok. Because the Yosemite Indians were part of Chief Tenaya’s band. Remember that Chief Tenaya’s band was mainly made up of Paiutes.
Even like Tom Hutchings. His father was a Paiute from Mono Lake and his mother was a Paiute from Yosemite Valley. But they were still Paiutes. Bates ASSUMES that every Indian born in Yosemite or from Yosemite WAS A MIWOK, but as we know that is NOT true. Plus you have to go with the earliest governmental accounts and NOT by new accounts. Because new accounts can be tainted by the federal recognition process.
But if we go back to Lafayette Bunnell’s account Tenaya’s band was primarily PAIUTES.
The Digger part was most likely Washoe. Since a lot of their older family went back and forth to Coleville and other Washoe/Paiute areas. Washoes also had parties going around upper Mono Lake without Paiutes being aware.
Washoes also entered the Upper Tuolumne on Acorn and other food gathering forays. There are more intermarriages between Washoes and Paiutes,then Paiute and Miwok in olden days. Paiutes used to ‘capture’ girls and women from other neighboring tribes in raids and Paiutes were the dominate warrior society in the area. That is why Washoes used to tattoo their children so later on they might find and reunite with their ‘captured’ children by identifiable tattoos.
11-16-2014: Additional Information :Susie Sam who was Paiute with some “Digger” blood. Digger was broad based derogatory name given to all California Indians. That included Washo, Yokut, Miwok, Maidu and Paiute. Susie most likely had Washo blood because her family had Washo pine nut hill allotments.
Susie was mostly Paiute and in most of her government documentation. Susie Sam was Paiute or “Unknown Digger”. So a government employee would have to go with the known you would think.

Bridgeport Tom, a Piute Indian born near Bridgeport, California in 1860, had two wives; Louisa and Leanna who were sisters.
On this census it shows Bridgeport Tom and his family living at Mono Lake and under the Bishop agency as Paiutes.
They would enter Yosemite, like the majority of Indians, and work in the park. After the season they would return back to Mono Lake like Paiutes had done for eons.
The Mono Lake Paiutes, the original Native Americans of Yosemite, would enter Yosemite like they have before the whites had entered the area, until the U.S. government took control of Yosemite and turned it into a park.
Later the park service created an Indian village and many of the Toms went to live there year round, but they still held ties to Mono Lake, like Yosemite…their traditional home land.
Many of the elders of the Tom family stayed around Mono Lake and other Paiute areas until their deaths.
The family was one of most well known Paiute basket makers in the area, California and throught out the world.

Photo of Bridgeport Tom as a young man in Yosemite wearing traditional woven sash and tall moccasin boots.

Bridgeport Tom was one of the major patriarchal Indian leaders of Yosemite, Mono Lake, Bridgeport, Coleville and Bishop. He was also the patriarch of many of the descendents of the Kutzadika’a Mono Lake Paiutes.
Bridgeport Tom relates a story of Chief Towa and leader of Paiutes who lived around Dobie Meadows, Mono Lake and Upper Tuolumne. This story is from the Yosemite National Park’s research library.

Chief Towa, a young Paiute Indian lived with his wife in Dobie Meadows, Mono County. He made his home there and had come to Mono Lake for his friend (Teseauk), a young Indian brave. From Mono Lake they continued on their journey to Yosemite Valley (Pame) on what they considered a very important business.

Every year (Towa) had been a guest of Chief (Tenaya’s) at the annual deer festivity held in the Yosemite Valley (Pame). He was not only a chief but, also, a great Indian orator. For this reason he was an important person at gatherings.
With enough provisions they were quite sure of a safe trip over the mountains. They were quite sure of a safe trip over the mountains. They made a short stop at Soda Springs where the ground hogs (keta) were plentiful.
Chief (Towa) directed (Teseauk) and the rest of the expedition to make camp at Lake Tenaya where he would meet them at night fall. His plans were to cross over the mountains through the old trail and hunt as he traveled.
It was nearing the time for him to arrive at the camp, but Chief (Towa) did not arrive. (Teseauk) was quite worried and he started out on the trail to meet (Towa). He walked several miles through the dense, thick forest with his bow and arrow as his only protection. As he came to a hill at the mouth of the valley, he heard a human cry, a cry which Teseauk knew came from the Chief’s own mouth. He knew that he was in distress. He immediately hurried to the most awful scene. (Towa) had been in the vicinity of a grizzly bear. He was physically distorted, his clothes torn into shreds. However, he was able to relate his tragic experience to (Teseauk).
(Teseauk) tried to help him in everyway, but he was beyond repair. He died in the arms of (Teseauk) shortly after he had found him. His final message to his people was to be delivered by (Teseauk) at (Pame).
In the meantime (Teseauk) notified his friends and relatives and the funeral was held by the shores of the Tenaya Lake. (Teseauk) delivered the following message at the deer feast before many of his people. As they burned his belongings, this is usual Paiute custom in the early days, (Teseauk) said, “Bears are very dangerous creatures, whenever, in the wilds always be prepared to go into the mountains with at least half a dozen arrows because in this experience he learned that one or two arrows was not enough to kill a bear. His message to his people has always been remembered. An Indian would say to his fellow tribesman, “Let Chief (Towa’s) experience be your guide.”

Please Note:

Pame is Paiute for Meadow
Towa had his own band.
Numa is the name for the Paiute people.
Nume is the Mono Paiute name for band or group of people.
Put Towa and Nume together = Towa’nume.
What is the river that runs through Hetch Hetchy called? Tuolumne.

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May 9, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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