Ohlone Costanoan
Esselen Nation
     Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation (OCEN) is historically known
    as the Monterey Band of Monterey County as the results of the
    Congressional Homeless Indian Acts of 1906, 1908 and later years.  
    Both Special Indian Agent Charles E. Kelsey (1905-1913), and Reno
    Superintendent, James Jenkins (Reno Agency Annual Report 1923)
    identified our tribe as the Monterey Band of Monterey County.  
    Charles Kelsey specifically identified on the 1905-1906 Special Indian
    Census, Thomas Miranda and family living on the Sur Rancheria
    (currently there are more than 100 members of this lineage enrolled in
    OCEN).  Before that in 1883 Special Indian Agent Helen Hunt
    Jackson identified our tribe as the "San Carlos Indians, living near the
    old San Carlos Mission at Monterey" and she wrote to the
    Commissioner of Indian Affairs notifying him about placing our tribe
    along with the Santa Ynez Chumash directly under her jurisdiction
    [see Heizer, ed 1979 Federal Concern About Conditions of California
    Indians 1853 to 1913: Eight Documents Ballena Press Publications
    No. 13 page 88.]

    Under the 1928 California Indian Jurisdictional Act our Tribal Elders
    and their families enrolled with the BIA and we identified ourselves as
    either "Tribe: Mission San Carlos" or as Esselen." Our families again
    enrolled with the BIA during the second (1948-1955) and third (1968-
    1970) enrollment periods.  Our direct ancestors served as linguistic
    consultants to Alexander Taylor (1856), Alfred Kroeber (1902-1910),
    C. Hart Merriam (1902-1922), and John P. Harrington, Field
    Ethnologist for the Smithsonian Museum's Bureau of American
    Ethnology (1930-1939), as well as other linguists.

    To date OCEN has completed all the standards and requirements
    under the current administrative process 25 CFR Part 83 for
    reaffirmation as a Federally Recognized Tribe.  Our Tribe was never
    legally "Terminated" by any act of Congress, but instead suffered
    neglect by those BIA agents charged to purchase home sites under the
    Congressional Homeless California Indian Appropriation Acts.  Agency
    Superintendents such as Lafayette A. Dorrington who was responsible
    for the Sacramento Agency from 1918 to 1930, was derelict in his
    duties and argued as his personal belief that land should not be
    purchased for California Indians.  It was due to his "gross negligence"
    and crass indifference" that our tribal band as well as one hundred and
    thirty four other California tribes were removed from the list of
    Recognized tribes by 1927.

    We have also demonstrated that our Tribe was never legally
    "Terminated" by any act of Congress, Executive action or Federal
    Court Order.  In fact, Recognition is for perpetuity, until the Tribe
    notifies Congress of its desire to "Terminate" itself and abandon its
    tribal status as a tribe.

    Presently Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation represents over 600
    enrolled tribal members of Esselen, Carmeleno, Monterey Band,
    Rumsen, Chalon, Soledad Mission, San Carlos Mission (Carmel)
    and/or Costanoan Mission Indian descent from at least 19 villages
    from a contiguous region surrounding Monterey Bay.  We often hear
    why does Esselen Nation claim so many village homelands? The
    answer is, "The descendants of these villages comprise the historic
    Monterey Band of Monterey County and they chose to enroll in
    OCEN/Esselen Nation as their legal tribal government representative."  
Official Tribal Website
Photograph of Shewker (Redtail Hawk) by Louise J. Miranda Ramirez
Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Indians of the Greater Monterey Bay Area
Photo by: Louise J. Miranda Ramirez
Pacific Grove, CA - June 2012