The original spelling was xabe ma tolel. Xabe=:rock”, ma=people/person. A variation of the meaning is “The people of rock village.”
From before recorded history, ancestral Pomo people occupied parts of central and Northern California, known as “Pomo Country”. The Pomos, along with the Patwin and Wintun, were actually made up of numerous small bands or villages spread throughout the area North of the Sacramento River Delta and between the Russian River and the California River Valleys, as well as along the Pacific Coast. In large part, their well being depended upon the fruits of these waterways which were also the highways of the day.
In 1907, the Federal Government established the Upper Lake Rancheria in Upper Lake, California (a very small Rancheria) for the benefit of a group of homeless and landless Pomo Indians in the Clear Lake area. The U. S. Government held title to the land into Trust for them until 1958.
During the early 1950s, the U. S. Government took steps to terminate its trust relationship with all Indian Tribes, including those in California.
The Upper Lake Band of Pomo Indians were forced off its impoverished tribal lands about 50 years ago under the Federal Government’s Indian Relocation program. Around 20 years ago, the Federal Government began permitting California Indians to return to their former lands.
For some, like Upper Lake, California, the land was no longer available. Today, federal law permits such Tribes such as Upper Lake to find a suitable site for restoration of its tribal activities and business operations near its aboriginal tribal lands.
For more information and a timeline please download the Tribal Brochure which is available in PDF format and can be opened with the free Adobe Reader. If you don’t already have the free Adobe Reader you can downloand it at the Adobe website at no cost by clicking this link .