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Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada

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Title: Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada  
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Subject: Ruby Mountains, Indian colony, Western Shoshone, List of federally recognized tribes, Nevada State Route 304, List of federally recognized tribes by state, Mount Tenabo
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada

The Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada is a federally recognized tribe of Western Shoshone Indians in northeastern Nevada.


The tribe organized under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. Western Shoshone elected a traditional council, led by Chief Muchach Temoak and his descendants, to create the new governments; however, the United States refused to recognize the traditional council and created the Te-Moaks Bands Council. Traditionalists did not feel adequately represented by this council and created the United Western Shoshone Legal Defense and Education Association, now known as the Sacred Lands Association in 1974. The traditionalists argued before the Indian Claims Commission (ICC) that the Te-Moak Bands Council did not speak for them and the tribe never gave up their title to their traditional lands. Their claims and appeal were rejected in 1979, when the ICC ruled that the Western Shoshone lost title to their lands in the Treaty of Ruby Valley in 1863. In 1980 the courts ruled that the lands were not ceded in 1863 but were lost on 6 December 1979. Despite appeals by the tribe, the US Supreme Court rules in 1985 that $26 million was paid to the tribe in 1979 for 24 million acres (97,000 km2) of land.[1] The tribe is still fighting to reclaim their traditional lands today.

The tribe's corporate charter was approved in 1938 and their current constitution was amended in 1982.[2]


The Te-Moak Tribe Council is headquartered in Elko, Nevada. The tribe is composed of four constituent bands. Their constitution allows for an unlimited of reservations and Indian colonies to join the tribe.[3]

Battle Mountain Band

This band governs the Battle Mountain reservation, at 40°39′51″N 116°58′11″W / 40.66417°N 116.96972°W / 40.66417; -116.96972, in Battle Mountain, Nevada.[4] Traditionally, they are the Tonomudza band of Shoshone. Their separate parcels of land total 683.3 acres (2.765 km2). Current reservation population is 165 and total tribal enrollment is 516. Their current band council includes:

  • Michael Price, Chairman[5]
  • Lorrie Carpenter
  • Delbert Holley
  • Gregory Holley
  • Stanford Knight
  • Florine Maine.[6]

Elko Band

The Elko Indian Colony, at 40°51′02″N 115°45′55″W / 40.85056°N 115.76528°W / 40.85056; -115.76528, was established in 1918.[4] They govern 192.8 acres (0.780 km2) of federal trust lands. Tribal enrollment is 1,143. Only 6% of the band graduated from high school and their average per capita annual income is $7,000. They are headquartered in Elko, Nevada and their current band council is as follows:

  • Gerald Temoke, Chairman
  • Davis Gonzales, Vice Chairman
  • Leta Jim
  • Lindsey Oppenhein
  • Evelyn Roche-Temoke
  • Suzanna R. Sandoval
  • Vernon Thompson.[7]

South Fork Band

The South Fork and Odgers Ranch Indian Colony, at 40°34′22″N 115°36′08″W / 40.57278°N 115.60222°W / 40.57278; -115.60222, was established in Lee, Nevada in 1941[8] The band owns 19,049 acres (77.09 km2) of land. 234 members live on the reservation and their total band enrollment is 1139. Their current band council is as follows:

  • Cheryl Mose-Temoke, Chairman
  • Larson Bill, Vice Chairman
  • Vincent Garcia
  • Charles Malotte
  • Gilbert Temoke
  • Casey Tom
  • Edna Tybo.[9]

Wells Band

The Wells Indian Colony, at 41°07′01″N 114°58′44″W / 41.11694°N 114.97889°W / 41.11694; -114.97889, was established in 1980 and is 80 acres (320,000 m2) large.[8] Their headquarters is in Wells, Nevada. 39 members live on the reservation, and total band enrollment is 177. Their current band council is as follows:

  • Paula Salazar, Chairperson
  • Steven Brady
  • Karen Franco
  • Harvey Healey.[9]

Notable Te-Moak Shoshone



  • Clemmer, Richard O. and Omer C. Stewart. "Treaties, Reservations, and Claims." D'Azevedo, Warren L., Volume Editor. Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 11: Great Basin. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1986. ISBN 978-0-16-004581-3.
  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.
  • Thomas, David Hurst, Lorann S. A. Pendleton, and Stephen C. Cappannari. "Western Shoshone." D'Azevedo, Warren L., Volume Editor. Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 11: Great Basin. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1986. ISBN 978-0-16-004581-3.

External links

  • Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone, official website
  • Te-Moak Tribe News Blog
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