On Thursday, March 19th, 2015, sometime between the late night and early morning hours of Friday, March 20th, the California Valley Miwok Tribe’s Tribal Headquarters was devastated by a sudden and intense fire at the facility.
Tribal members and officials who were staying at the property, some of whom were sleeping in their quarters during the outbreak of the fire, were forced to flee the burning building barefooted and dressed only in their nightclothes, as the local fire department was summoned to the scene. One Tribal Member suffered minor injuries from a hard fall during the evacuation and at least one individual was briefly monitored for suffering from mild smoke inhalation.
Unfortunately, both personal possessions and tribal properties were lost due to the intensity of the fire, water damage from firefighters battling the blaze and the eventual collapse of the 20-ton roof which covered the structure. In the days following the fire, Tribal officials did manage to locate and recover all invaluable internal tribal governing documents, histories and evidentiary documentation encompassing the litigatious and political activities of the Tribe, as well as some cultural artifacts.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation and the subsequent report released by the fire department has listed the cause of the fire as undetermined; although, evidence on the report seems to indicate that the fire might have been caused by faulty electrical wiring in the far backside of the attic.
The Tribe has declared a ‘State of Emergency’ and has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross and the Bureau of Indian Affairs for assistance. Although, these agencies have responded, the Tribe has been very limited by the amount of resources that they have been able to assist with, due to regulations. The Tribe is still in great need of replacing damaged computers, printers and office supplies; office furniture, storage and moving expenses, etc. At this time, Tribal volunteers continue to dig through soot, ash and debris, trying to recover anything that is salvageable.
The Tribe has relocated to a new property, two miles south of the former location and all previous contact information has been re-established at the new address.
The new address is:
California Valley Miwok Tribe
4620 Shippee Lane
Stockton, California 95212
Cash assistance or donations from anyone wishing to help the Tribe and/or its members who are rebuilding their lives after this terrible ordeal would be very much appreciated, no matter the size of the amount.
For those who would like to send money donations, please make checks and/or money orders payable to the California Valley Miwok Tribe.
For more information, please call the Tribal Office at (209) 931-4567 or email the California Valley Miwok Tribe at email@example.com.