Conserving Farmlands, Nature and the Environment

Important to the historic Wopumnes Nisenan and Mewuk Indians of the El Dorado County Gold Rush

About us

The Wopumnes Nisenan and Mewuk Heritage Preservation Society of El Dorado County


The Wopumnes Nisenan and Mewuk Heritage Preservation Society of El Dorado County is an IRS Tax Exempt Nonprofit EIN 83-2671897 and can receive unlimited financial donations and all forms of donations from the public.


The nonprofit was established in 2018 by descendants of the historic Gold Rush Nisenan and Mewuk Indians of the Wopumnes Tribe, signers of the Consumnes River Treaty of 1851.  The purpose of the Wopumnes501c3 is in its registered name "Wopumnes Nisenan and Mewuk Heritage Preservation Society of El Dorado County Califorina" and its mission is to educate and conserve for future generations El Dorado Native Culture, Archeological Sites, Environmental factors, Historic Farmlands, and Nature important to the Nisenan and Mewuk Indians of the El Dorado County Gold Rush.

The Wopumnes 501c3 is not run by the Wopumnes Tribal Government (which is a separate political legal entity) though there are members of the Tribal Council who are on the Board of Directors of the non-political 501c3.  Opinions of the Tribal Government are just that "opinions" and do not have a bearing on the activities of the nonprofit.


The Wopumnes Tribe has a long, well-documented history in El Dorado County with members of the Tribe appearing in every El Dorado County US Census since 1852.  The historic Wopumnes Tribe was also talked about by John Sutter in his Diaries, with individual members mentioned by name and noted as helping build Sutter's Mill. John Sutter called the Wopumnes the "Shingle Springs Indians" for bringing Salt and Cedar Shingles from the region known today as the town of Shingle Springs established in 1865.  In 1870, the Sacramento Daily Union Newspaper reported that their Chief Charlie called a Pow-wow from many miles to their village in Shingle Springs. Around the same time, there is another story of Rosa, a young Nisenan child who was taken in by the Pollock family of Pollock Pines and later married John Craig who lived next door to their property. John Craig and Rosa moved to Clarksville, the area where the red barn still stands today in El Dorado Hills and raised 6 children.


The Wopumnes were Federally documented by Special BIA Agents CE Kelsey in 1906, and John Terrell in 1915, as being "of Nisenan and Miwok stock in El Dorado County". There are about 20 family names that were listed which include the Smiths, the Tripps, and the Padillas. John Terrell bought the El Dorado County Tribal families 240 acres in Shingle Springs.


In 1928 the California Indian Jurisdiction Act was established by their Chief Charlie Padilla who led the "Indians from many counties" to sue the Federal Government to enforce support of the California Indians (see image of article "Indian Tribes of the County take to the Warpath" in the Gallery). This action created the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, in which the family of Chief Charlie Padilla, living on Shingle Springs Rancheria are recorded as voting in as resident representatives.  The Indian Reorganization Act created the 500+ original Federally Recognized Tribes under Federal Supervision.


Disclaimer regarding "other Tribes in El Dorado County":  There are both historic Tribal groups and non-historic groups in El Dorado County. For clarification purposes we will only be identifying the historic vs. non-historic Tribal Groups. El Dorado Indian Council was established in 1973 and is a historic Tribal Group. Foothill Indian Education is a non-historic inter-tribal nonprofit established in Federal Records show that at one time, the Shingle Spring Rancheria was a 240 acre Shingle Springs Reservation (up until the 1960's). This is one of many examples where the Federal Government placed secondary non-aboriginal "Tribes" onto the Reservation Lands of the primary home Tribe.Typically each Tribal Group has its own governance and identified membership. Federal Government records also show that the original descendants of the 1915 Sacramento-Verona Band have no US Census records showing residency in El Dorado County before 1980. Federal Government records, also show that descendants of the 1915 Sacramento-Verona Band were not residents of the Shingle Springs Rancheria and did not vote in the 1934 IRA. According to El Dorado County records members of the Sacramento-Verona Band have no recorded history in El Dorado County prior to 1980.  The Sacramento-Verona Band of the Shingle Springs Rancheria is an entirely different DNA group identifying as "Miwoks" and are not historic to the El Dorado County Gold Rush. According to Federal Law, the Sacramento-Verona Band are a constructed Tribe and confined to jurisdiction within the boundaries of the original 160 acres of the Shingle Springs Rancheria. The region of Shingle Springs and the entire territory of El Dorado County is the home of the Wopumnes Tribe as their records show they are the aboriginal historic Tribe. 


What we do...

You can find over 50 articles and letters to the Editor in the Mt. Democrat about the Wopumnes from 1900's - present.  The Tribe is an off-reservation Tribe and operates publically in the entire territory of El Dorado County.


The Tribe's nonprofit sponsors events open to the public to preserve and teach Native American Culture, Dance, and Art.  In 2021 the Wopumnes sponsored the California Native American Dedication at the Gold Country Fair featuring the Sacramento Pow-wow dancers along with the Wopumnes Tribe's own WhoopAxe Tomahawk Throw, and Christmas at the Nisenan Village at the Marshall-Gold Discovery State Park. In 2022, the Wopumnes sponsored Earth Day at the Nisenan Village at MGD, the Nisenan Village at the Old West SteamPunk Festival, the Wagon Train Encore Party on Placerville Drive, and two long-awaited projects the "Native Interpretive Garden at Marshal-Gold" and Sierra Monarch and Pollinator Rescue Flyway project. 


That's not all!  The Tribe also does Tribal Monitoring of Construction Sites, surveys and catalogs archeological sites, gives talks around the county, protects environmental and historical sites with Conservation Easements, Site Smudging and Blessing, and sponsors events so that American Indians from all Tribes and non-native supporters can have an opportunity to meet the public and show their crafts. Contact us today!


Donations and love offerings are important. Tithe to the Wopumnes 501c3....


The Tribe does all this with financial donations from its supporters.  You can help out today by donating to this non-profit.  We accept land, artifacts, plants, vehicles and many other helpful items.


DOJ Charitable Organization Status: 
IRS Charity lookup





We do site surveys for Conservation Easements.

Pollinator Flyway

Help us create food security in the Sierra Mountains by building out the pollinator flyway in the Sierra Foothills.




Conserving Farmlands, Nature and the Environment

Important to the historic Wopumnes Nisenan and Mewuk Indians of the El Dorado County Gold Rush


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