Last Updated: June 26, 2012
The Summit Lake Paiute Tribe is a federally recognized Indian Tribe and has a government-to-government relationship with the federal government, states, counties and other local governments.
By election on October 24, 1964, the members of the Agai Panina Ticutta (Summit Lake Fish Eaters) Tribe of the Northern Paiute Nation gave up their traditional form of government, conditionally adopted some of the form of government that was suggested by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (see Articles of Association (Constitution) and changed the name of the Tribe to the "Summit Lake Paiute Tribe."
The Tribe's Articles of Association were approved by John A. Carver Jr., Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior on January 8, 1965.
The Tribe's Reservation is surrounded by Humboldt County in Northwest, Nevada. The Reservation is about 50 miles south of the Oregon state line, and about 50 miles east of the California state line.
Prior to contact with Europeans and Euro-Americans, the Agai Panina Ticutta controlled at least 2,800 square miles of land, including into what is now the states of Oregon and California. In the Newsletter/Research Page of this web site you will find two items of importance in this regard. First, an article and map by Omer C. Stewart, for discussion purposes, mapping the boundaries of the Tribe's traditional territories. Second, a copy of the court's Findings of Fact sustaining the claims of all Northern Paiute Nation tribes that 22 million acres of their traditional lands were taken from them in violation of the U.S. Constitution which prohibits the taking of private land for a public purpose without just compensation.
At one time, the Reservation was part of a military reservation, known as Camp McGarry that was established by Executive order in 1867. The military reservation was abandoned in 1871 and transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Interior.
Portions of the old structures of Camp McGarry still stand, however, they are tribal property and the Tribe hopes that everyone obeys the posted "No Trespassing" signs. Taking the brick and rock that form the foundation and walls of the structures, or any historic items on the ground, will be prosecuted in federal court.
The Reservation was established on January 14, 1913 by a President's Executive Order, number 1681. The Executive Order set aside about 5,026 acres in trust for the Tribe. Successive actions have added additional acreage to the Reservation.
The total acreage of the Reservation today is about 12,573 acres. 765 acres are allotments held in trust by the federal government for individual tribal members. 40 acres are public domain land, and another 40 acres are owned in fee simple by non-Indians.
Summit Lake is a terminal lake; meaning that no water flows outward from it. The total surface of the lake fluctuates between 600 and over 900 acres between the snow melt in spring and the dry summer conditions.
Due to the Reservation's remote location and primitive conditions, the Tribe's primary administrative office is in Sparks, Nevada, at 1708 H Street, 775-827-9670 or 800-335-7978. Our membership is approximately 120 members.
The reason not all tribal members live on the Reservation is a common story. In the late 1880s and early 1900s, Nevada law did not allow Indian children to attend public schools. As a result, federal officials took children from their homes on the Reservation and made them attend boarding schools. Many of the Tribe's members left the Reservation to protect their children from being taken away to boarding schools, but tribal members continue to keep ties with the Reservation and the Tribe's traditional territory (at least 2,800 square miles surrounding the Reservation) and participate in traditional practices.
No housing, water, or sewer development were provided to Tribal members; many of us still maintain our residences on the reservation without modern facilities, due to strong ties with our land.
We haven't moved very far from our past and in many ways that may be a good thing. To our ancestors and for future generations, may we be guided in the right direction.