Ione Band of Miwok Indians - About
Ione Tribal Government
There are 566 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States as of May 2013 and currently 109 are from California. Each nation is a separate, independent, sovereign entity with their own government structures entrusted to observe the laws of their constitution, along with manage the day-to-day affairs of the Tribe. Once trust land is secured, like any city, county, state, or federal government, the Ione Band Tribal Council will oversee the infrastructures, healthcare services, law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services that are developed on the Ione Band’s lands that are in trust. The Ione Band Tribal Council also makes decisions regarding economic development, legislation, and other related issues affecting the future of the Tribe and our members. The Ione Band Tribal Council is comprised of five members, each of whom is elected to three-year terms by the voting members of the tribal membership. The Tribal Council consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Member at Large.
Federal Recognition for the Ione Band
The Ione Band’s journey towards federal recognition started in 1915 when the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) conducted a census which identified 101 homeless Indians living in and near Ione, California. This group of homeless Indians would later be recognized as three distinct Miwok tribes in the Ione area, which included the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, the Jackson Rancheria of Me-Wuk, and the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk. The federal government promised to purchase land for the resettlement of the Ione Band but never followed through with a purchase of land for the tribe. The Ione Band’s federal recognition was brought back into light in 1972, when BIA commissioner Louis R. Bruse sent a letter to the Ione Band stating that he granted federal recognition to the tribe. The Ione Band’s long journey toward federal recognition ended on March 22, 1994 when the BIA officially granted federal recognition status to the Ione Band of Miwok Indians. The Ione Band then held the tribes first elections in 1996 in which the tribe elected an Interim Tribal Council to help create the Ione Band’s Tribal Constitution and other ordinances to create the governing body of the Tribe. The BIA approved the Ione Band’s Tribal Constitution in September 2002 and tribal elections were held in April 2003.
The Ione Band is still seeking future construction of a gaming facility (casino) near the town of Plymouth, California. The Ione Band’s casino would help support the tribe’s government operations, programs, and general tribal members with the revenue from the casino. The Ione Band is actively seeking future economic development to help the tribe as well.
Today, the Ione Band of Miwok Indians consists of well over 750
members that are spread out through multiple counties in California
including Amador and Sacramento Counties. The Tribal Council calls
monthly meetings with the General Council in which all members are
invited and encouraged to attend to hear about what has happened in
the past month and to learn the plans for the next month. The Ione
Band is still currently pursuing economic developments in the hopes of
better all of the members of the tribe.
Office and Staff
The tribal office is currently located at 9252 Bush Street, Plymouth, CA in Miwok Plaza. The office is comprised of three separate offices in which dedicated staff members help to oversee the day-to-day operations of the tribe and help the tribal members to the best of their abilities. Currently there is an Administrator which runs the office and the administration for the tribe.
A Housing Coordinator which oversees housing needs for our members.
A Finance Department which oversees finances for the office, government, and for the members.
A Revenue Sharing Trust Fund (RSTF) Programs Coordinator which oversees select funds for members to utilize for specific needs.
A Secretary to help the day-to-day operations of the office.
A NAGPRA Coordinator to help the tribe with repatriations of ancestral remains and artifacts.
An Environmental Coordinator to recommend environmental concerns to the members and to the public.
Currently there are six (6) committees that are devoted to helping the Tribal Council in the specific committees. The committees are comprised of Ione Band members whom volunteer their time to meet and conduct business. The committees are:
All assist and send recommendations to the Ione Band Tribal Council.
Ione Band Tribal Council
- Chairwoman – Crystal Martinez
- Vice Chairman – Tracy Tripp
- Secretary – Lucille Ramirez
- Treasurer – Sandra Waters
- Member at Large – Ralph