California Indian Languages: Algonquian Tribes
The distant but clear affiliation of the Yurok and Wiyot languages was first recognized by their inclusion in a separate "Ritwan Family." However, research relates these languages to the Algonquian languages of the Great Plains and Northeast (e.g. Blackfoot, Menomini, Arapho, and Ojibwa-Ottawa-Algonkin-Salteaux). Algonquian, Yuork, and Wiyot are three branches of a very old Algic stock once located somewhere in north-central North America. The Algic stock split into three parts 4,000 years ago. Subsequently, Yurok and Wiyot arrived in northwestern California as distinct languages. On archaeological grounds, the Wiyot arrived circa 900 A.D. and the Yurok circa 1100 A.D. (Moratto, California Archaeology *)
Native Location: Humboldt Bay and surrounding area
Identified Shelters: Rectangular structures, made of cedar posts and poles and split cedar planks, and truncated roof
Cultural Notes: The last native speaker died in 1962. Surviving members are trying to buy back Indian Island, once the cultural/spiritual center.
Tribal History: www.fourdir.com/wiyot.htm
Tribal Website: Wiyot Tribe www.wiyot.com
Native Location: Pacific northwestern coast, and the lower Klamath River areas
Identified Shelters: Redwood plank structures with gabled roof
Food: Salmon, acorn, fish, shellfish, sea lion, elk, deer, small game, seeds
Cultural Notes: Their name comes from the Karuk word yúruk, which means "down river". Their closest neighbors were the Karuk and Tolowa, with whom they shared many customs. Tribe members spoke all three languages and visited each other frequently.
Tribal History: www.fourdir.com/yurok.htm
Trinidad Rancheria (Cher-Ae Indian Community) www.trinidad-rancheria.org
Other Algonquian Tribe: Nongati
* Moratto, Michael, California Archaeology, Academic Press, Inc., 1984