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THE KAWAIISU (NOCHI) STORY

In the beginning there was Pogmatog (Creator) and Hibichi Muaz (Grandmother Moon). These Momo-o (Women) were the biggest Abiqui (talkers) and would talk for many, many years without stopping. They always had alot to say for all things came from their talks. They loved each other so much that there has been no greater love that has ever existed. During one of these talks Grandmother Moon was becoming very distressed about how they would talk about so many things but nothing was ever put to the test. Can these things that they talk about become real? she asked the Creator. The Creator asked back, Of course all things we talk about are real, what do you mean? Grandmother Moon responds and suggests to the Creator that there is nothing to look at, so that we can expand our talks about why things are as they are. What do you suggest Grandmother Moon, asked the Creator? Grandmother Moon says we need something to look at right in front of us, something big, bright and beautiful. We need something like a big bright star that is warm to the touch and cool to the eye. We will call her Mother Earth (Momo-o Tibi). You would do this for me Creator? Asked Grandmother Moon. With no response the Creator reached out her arms and scooped up thousands of stars in a single movement and brought them all together into one star and called her Mother Earth. Grandmother Moon was amazed and said, Exactly (yuk-a-suk-a-vi) what I was thinking it should look like and this made the Creator very happy that her friend Grandmother

Moon was pleased. They discussed about and admired Mother Earth for many years. As they talked they became curious about what Mother Earth was thinking but Mother Earth could not talk. If she could talk what would she say? Would she say she was lonely because she had nobody to talk to or would she say that she could not see what she was missing? Even worse would she have wishes of her own that she could not explain. This whole thing about Mother Earth set Grandmother Moon to thinking. She thought and thought for a long, long time until all at once she jumped up with a crazy (Keenon) joy and said she needs her own friends to talk to. What do you mean by that? said the Creator. Grandmother Moon proceeds to explain it all to the Creator and as she does the Creator looks out at Mother Earth with a great enthusiasm and cups her hands together and then opens them and all of Grandmother Moons ideas are revealed. The Creator blows very gently upon these ideas into the direction of Mother Earth to where they rest and come alive. There are too many to speak of but they include: Mountains (Kee-vi), Oceans (Dari-di po?o), Rivers (?awa-ti po?o), Springs (Po?o), Trees (Sii-ga-di), Coyotes (Sina?a-vi), Deer (Tihiya), Bears (Pogwiti), Bugs (hayi?mika-zi), and so on. Grandmother Moon as before was amazed and said, Exactly (yuk-a-suk-a-vi) what I was thinking it should be like and also as before, this made the Creator very happy that her friend Grandmother Moon was pleased. Then something wonderful happened as nothing ever before. Mother Earth started to glow a happy glow and then she began to rotate as if she was

looking at herself for the first time. This made The Creator and Grandmother Moon excited and they jumped up and down with joy. Grandmother Moon quickly said she wanted to see something that would be a protector of all items and an entity that Mother Earth could talk to. So the Creator laid her kind and loving hands upon Mother Earth in a place she called Mu (Koso). When she lifted her hands a people appeared and the Creator called them the people of Mu. The Creator loved this so much that she commanded that the Mu women shall bleed every full moon in honor of Grandmother Moons Idea for their creation. Then she gave the Mu a Law to live by for ever and ever commanded: The Mu are to never exclude and to always include, except one can exclude themselves. This is how the Kawaiisu People came to this land on Mother Earth. The Denial Ceremony was the beginning of how the Kawaiisu (Mu) started to organize themselves as a Tribal Nation. It was to send out one girl and one boy at about the age of 16 into the unknown areas. The process of this was to send them out for one year and they were denied the right to be seen by any other person of the main Kawaiisu Village for a year. They were to take nothing with them, which forced them to survive on their own. In some instances they would not come back and they were called the Lost Ones. When others were sent out on the Denial Ceremony and would find the Lost Ones, they would come back to the Main Kawaiisu Village after their year was over and there would be a big good time. They would tell of all their experiences and of the Lost Ones they came across. They would go to visit the Lost Ones and sometimes stay and

form a new Village. This is how we populated Mother Earth with all of our Villages. The Kawaiisu then formed a non-gender specific, natural yet formal government that is made up of the Villages with A Head Person and Council who were chosen by the members of each individual Village under a formal Family Elder basis. They had the authority to settle all disputes within the Village and to determine what resources are to be used and by whom. The next is the Head Person over all Villages, who is chosen by the Head Person and Council of all the Villages. Their responsibility was to settle differences between Villages and to lead in any talks (Abiqui) at the Confederation of Tribes and between outside Tribes. The larger form of government is the Confederation of Yutas, Utahs, or Utes, Tribes in an area that is now known as the southwestern part of the United States. The law is simple and straight forward and reads like this, One can never exclude, one will always include, with one exception, one may exclude self. This is the same now as in the beginning. This has been going on for more than 56,700 years according to our calendars. All Villages kept Calendars as a means to maintain history and events such as: Weather cycles, Celestial cycles, Planting cycles, Climate changes, Mental stability, Generations, Earthquake cycles, and seasonal harvesting. The Calendar Keepers were picked at birth and they were taught all the things that the Calendar is used for and how to read it. This was a very honored and respected position. In the 1500s we were watching the Summer Calendars and our runners came up from the south near Chia-pas (Seeds the Kawaiisu call Coh-a or

Posia-ti, Pa means water) and said that the Chia-pas Runners need to go home because there is a strange people coming into Chia-pas and so they went home. Soon after a Time of Death came upon the Kawaiisu People from which most died. There was not enough Kawaiisu People to care for and bury the dead. They sick had boils all over their body and they were very hot with fever. They went to lie in the water to die. This lasted for many years. The stories from Chia-pas told of dogs with armor chasing down the people in their villages and cities. Because of the disease, when our people were asked to fight and help others defend themselves, our warriors had to say goodbye forever, so if they lived they would not bring the disease back and kill more of us. About 200 hundred years followed this and many stories were told about the strange people who killed for no reason. We finally met a group of them and the Headpersons name was Fages. In his 1775 diary he wrote about us. In his writing he talked about our form of government and who we are. Soon after Fages visited two more Headpersons came to visit, Father Font and Father Garces. In 1777 they wrote in their diaries about us and our form or government in depth. They drew separate Maps that were different but yet containing the same information describing our territory and main villages that they knew about on their short visit. These maps under Spanish Law are called Disenios. The main villages in these Maps are called: Notch, Noches Colteches, Nochi, Noochi (English-Badger, SpainishTejon), Cobajais, Cobaji, Covaji, Quabajai, Cowibiji (English-the people with body hair). These Spanish

Headpersons guaranteed that our territory would be honored by Spain forever and they kept that promise. Then came the Mexicans in 1836; they signed The Treaty of Cordova with Spain that guaranteed that the promises made by Spain to the Kawaiisu Tribe would be kept by Mexico. Mexico kept these promises and passed them to the U.S. Government in 1848 when Mexico ceded the Kawaiisu Tribes territory to the U.S. and the U.S. agreed to abide by the Spains guarantees. This Treaty is called the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty. In 1849 runners from Abiquin, Abiqui, ?apiki(English-the place where we talk), told us to report there immediately. All leaders who were called Nochi or at least had Nochi being a part of their name left to go to Abiqui. The ones that had just a part of their name as Nochi meant that their wives were the real leaders, but they knew by now that the foreigners did not listen to women so they made the appearance that the men were in charge. Then the Nochi leaders found that the talk was to be with outsiders. The outsiders (representatives of the U.S.) made peace with us and had to make a paint mark on some markings. They said now we will be protected and defended by the U.S. Government against the U.S. troublemakers and we were not to take action against U.S. people on behalf of ourselves. It is the sole obligation and responsibility of the U.S. Government to protect the Kawaiisu Tribe from violators of the Treaty. The 1849 Treaty said that we would have to do nothing but contact the U.S. Government if there were any problems created by their people. The Intercourse law would be

enacted on our behalf by the U.S. Government. We did not have to change our Tribal Government or learn to read and write English to enjoy these protections under the treaty. Our rights are to be honored under the Treaty. If it is not in the language of the Treaty it does not apply. In 1850 Acaguate Nochi assigned Francisco Pol-ti (Apoletea) of taking the responsibility of the Nochi. This was right after Franciscos entire family was killed in New Cuyama by strychnine laced Meat traded to them by Alexis Godey. Alexis Godey is the same Beale employee who latter ran cattle over the Tejon Reservation Indian crops and forced the Koso Indians who were death marched over the Owens Valley to starve and be shot for target practice below Fort Tejon instead of being allowed to stay on their Tejon Reservation in 1863. In 1851, Francisco Pol-ti signed the Treaty of Camp Persifer Smith for several Villages, because he was the Head Person of all the Kawaiisu Villages. Our Tribe considered this treaty to be the follow up as promised under the 1849 Treaty at Abiqui. This 1851 Treaty was never honored because it was never ratified because California Senators argued for Extermination of California Indians and therefore it was not voted into law. Instead right after California became a state in 1850, the California Legislature voted in the Law for the Protection of California Indians and this law was worded to enslave and to exterminate California Indians. In 1853 Congress started the Tejon/Sebastian Indian Reservation under the direction of Edward Beale. The Kawaiisu were told by Beales Captains that they would be safe there and they were required to relocate to Tejon

Reservation and that it was their land. Many appropriations by Congress were made for the Reservation and Beale was to oversee how they were spent for the care of the Kawaiisu. In 1860 many Kawaiisu are found on the Sinks of Tejon Census, a polling place located on the Tejon Reservation. This is the first documentation of the Nochi changing their names to Charley because Beale was trying to kill all signers to the 1849 Abiqui Treaty. When it was obvious that Beale was killing the Nochi that signed the 1849 Abiqui Treaty the Kawaiisu ran away from the Tejon Reservation and hid in Kelso Valley until April of 1863. They were contacted and told that a new Treaty was to be signed with the U.S. at Tilley Creek Crossing (Lake Isabella, California). Once there they were told to surrender their guns to the Catholic Priest at what is now called Wofford Heights, which they did in good faith. That night at about three in the morning they heard horses running down the Kern River and it was the California volunteers led by Lt. McLaughlin who proceeded to sabre them to death to save ammunition. This is where Acaguate Nochi (Charley Senior Se-vi Vines Husband) was killed and Nochi (Charley Junior Ne-va Vines Husband) was killed. They hid out in the tules for two weeks until two 16year-old men from Prussia came by and found them. The Prussians were Jewish friends Frederic Butterbredt and Fritz Lamire and they were looking for gold. They asked Ne-va and Se-vi if they knew where to find gold and they said yes and they would show them if they would help them bury the dead. Ne-va Vine and Frederick married in the Indian way and had 10 children and raised Ne-vas son Charley

from her first husband as his own. Se-vi remarried another Indian named Thomas and they all took the Butterbredt name as their own to protect them from the California Volunteers. Ne-va Vine is the Daughter of Se-vi Vine and Acaguate Nochi senior the signer at Abiqui on the 1849 Treaty. Beginning in 1893 more than 150 Indian allotments were taken out by Kawaiisu People under the authority of the 1849 Treaty at Abiqui. The last one was the Houser Allotment in 1963, which establishes the Treaty rights to this day and a government-to-government relationship of acknowledgement to this day. In 1905, the U.S. Government published the Kawaiisu Territory in their ceded land map numbers 285 and 286. These were drawn from the 1849 Treaty we signed at Abiqui. This established our right to natural resources in that area mapped. This also is the area for which most Kawaiisu people live to this day, Our Geographical Homeland and the land of our Creation. In other words, the Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejons Indian Country. At this same time all California Indians were issued Roll Numbers with Tribal affiliations. The Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon Members have Roll Numbers with Paiute affiliation tying us to the 1849 Treaty. Toward the end of 1924 the Kawaiisu People were given U.S. citizenship. And before that a Supreme Court case was decided that had nothing to do with the Reservation or the Treaty of 1849, but was wrongfully used against us by the County of Kern to benefit Tejon Ranch in the transfer of our Tejon Reservation to Tejon Ranch without the required

Congressional approval. This has been maintained and supported by the County of Kern by not allowing the Kawaiisu to visit their families graves. There are armed guards around the Reservation to keep us out to this day. Also in 1900s the Kawaiisu Children were forcibly removed from their families and Tribes jurisdiction to Indian schools. One of these schools was in Riverside, California, the Sherman Indian School. The general practice of Indian Child Sterilization was conducted there. In the Kawaiisu Tribe girls and boys as young as five years old were sterilized and castrated. Some did escape and ran all the way home to the Tribe by themselves. Others were sent home to die because of great illness and pregnancies fathered by Priests. In the 1920s three Indian Schools were started in Kern County as follows: Kelso Valley Indian School, Kelso Canyon Indian School and the Tejon Reservation Indian School, which was open until 1948. The Kawaiisu Tribe encouraged their children to attend these schools so that they could communicate with the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government maintained contact and sought guidance with the Headpersons of the Kawaiisu Tribe for official government-to-government relations to this day. The Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon maintains our culture and also shares our way of life with the General Public in the form of Events, Lectures, and Programs for children. At Present we have many, many files that we have accumulated for the past 61 years containing letters to and from U.S. Senators, Congresspersons,

agencies (U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Military, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Justice, State of California, Counties of California, and so forth. There are also many researchers and private Companies that we correspond with. The Tribe adopted a formal constitution in 2002. Previous to that, Bylaws were adopted in the 1970s and 1980s. Additionally, in the 1990s and 2002, Tribal members issued resolutions to proceed on behalf of the tribes needs and interests. The history of our tribe is recorded in the names of modern landmarks and cities found on current California maps such as: Malibu, Point Mugu, Tehachapi, Piute Mountain, Koso Mountains. Many Kawaiisu People fought and died in many wars for the freedom and protection of the U.S.A. The Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon has upheld all of our promises that we have made with the U.S. Government and await the same treatment from the U.S. Government. The U.S. Congress, in 1905, published the primary research document that is the basis for the existence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This document, edited by Frederick Webb Hodge, gives the most comprehensive history of Native American Tribes available for government administrative decisions and is entitled: The Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. The Kawaiisu are defined in Part #1, Page #666, establishing the Kawaiisu as an acknowledged ancient Tribe of the U.S.A. Today we wait for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to act on their founding document and honor the trust promises of our

Treaty. The most important single fact about the Kawaiisu Tribe is that our Creation story does not include a migration event; which makes the point that the Kawaiisu People have always been here without question and have a deep cultural integrity. It is time for the U. S. Government to give us our legitimate claims and respect as ancient people of this land.