Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 allowed the Elko band of Shoshone to
organize a government "on a reservation basis only." The Elko Colony is
a member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians, with tribal
headquarters in Elko. The Te-Moak Tribal Council has total jurisdiction
over all tribal lands, though the colonies retain sovereignty over all
other affairs. Several bands joined together to form the Te-Moak Tribe
and formed a tribal council in 1938. An Elko Colony constitution was
ratified on August 26, 1982. The Elko Community Council, composed of
seven popularly elected members, handles tribal business. The council
is led by a chairman, and members serve three-year terms. Council
candidates must belong to the Te-Moak Tribe, be at least 21, have at
least one-fourth Shoshone blood, and have lived on the reservation for
one year. The council governs the colony, contracting with county,
municipal, and federal agencies to provide social services and economic
development programs. The Elko Band also elects two representatives to
serve on the Te-Moak Council and the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada.
CULTURE AND HISTORY
The Elko Colony is one of the four separate colonies that comprise the
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians. Representatives of the
Central Pacific Railroad founded the town of Elko, Nevada, in 1868.
Many Shoshone families began camping nearby and working at mining and
railroad jobs in the community. for almost half a century, they lived
in a series of camps in the Elko area. Finally, in 1918 an Executive
Order established a 160-acre reservation near the city of Elko. The 250
Shoshones of Elko were forcibly moved once more before receiving their
present parcel of land in 1931. Since Elko remains the largest town in
northeastern Nevada, many Shoshones have continued to migrate there for
railroad and mining work. In recent years, the Western Shoshone people
have filed numerous suits against the federal government in an attempt
to regain traditional lands now classified as Federal Public Lands.
Decisions in several of these cases are still pending. The tribe is
also passing the Shoshone language on to younger generations.
tribe operates a community center in Elko. Individual tribal members
receive electricity and gas from local power companies in Elko.
Individual residences on the reservation pay for Elko municipal water
and sewer services. The reservation receives telephone service from
Frontier Communications. The Indian Health Service operates a clinic on
the reservation with one doctor and two nurses. Hospital and ambulances
services are provided by Elko County. Tribal youth attend the public
schools in Elko. The Colony operates a child care center for
The tribe owns and operates a smoke shop
and convenience store within the reservation
LOCATION AND LAND STATUS
Elko Colony is located in the high desert of northeastern Nevada, near
the Humboldt River. The reservation encompasses 192.80 noncontiguous
acres adjacent to the city of Elko, the county seat of Elko County,
Nevada. Elko is the only major city near the reservation. Reno, Nevada,
lies 289 miles southeastward along U.S. Interstate 80. The Elko Colony
was established by Executive Order on March 25, 1918 which reserved 160
acres for Shoshone and Paiute Indians living near the town of Elko.
Today, 192.8 acres remain in federal trust.
AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK
Many tribal members work at
seasonal agriculture and ranching jobs throughout the region.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
The Elko Band plans to expand the tribal
child care center as well as the tribal convenience store and smoke shop.
GOVERNMENT AS EMPLOYER
The tribal government is an Equal
The tribe is not directly involved with the
ownership or operation of mines in the Elko area. However, the tribal community
depends upon the employment provided by the mining industry.
TOURISM AND RECREATION
Elko Colony lies in close proximity to several scenic recreation areas.
The Humboldt National Forest is approximately 20 miles east of the
reservation. The Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge lies some 75 miles
to the southeast, and scenic Hole in the Mountain Peak is approximately
75 miles northeast of the reservation.
U.S. Interstate 80, runs east to west
in close proximity to the Elko Colony. Nevada State Highway 275 runs
north from the reservation, while State Highway 228 runs due south.
Private and commercial air facilities are located at Elko Airport, two
miles from the reservation. Commercial bus lines are located in Elko,
as are most major freight carriers. Passenger railway service is
unavailable, but commercial railways service the Elko area.
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thanks for Backgrounds and Beadwork provided by Nick Knight,
Linda Gonzales, Nikki Jackson, Dynneil Atkins, and others