Opinion - The True Shingle Springs Miwoks
Louie L. Smith Sr. was a true Shingle Springs Miwok. He was born in Shingle Springs in 1902 on Oct. 15. He lived in El Dorado County his whole life. He worked at Limestone Mine. He was 88 years old and living with me when he crossed over.
My grandfather would be 111 years old this year. I just wanted to wish him happy 111th and say I have not forgotten the promise I made, not to forget that we are Shingle Springs Miwoks. Unlike the group of people John Terrell found on a river, in a different county.
When this group moved onto the Shingle Springs Miwok Reservation in the 1980s, they were known as the Verona Band of Hawiians and Midus (Maidu), not Miwoks. This group of people voted themselves Shingle Springs Miwoks without permission or any bloodline ties to the original Miwoks families. The Smith family has seven generations who have lived in Shingle Springs long before California became a state, and we are still here in Shingle Springs. Our tribe has a peace treaty with the U.S. government, Cassumis River Treaty in the 1800s, plus we partook in the 1934 IRA Indian Reorganization Act. We have proof of everything I have just stated and more.
I, Louie L. Smith, III, say this to the Miwoks who have lived and died in Shingle Springs, “You have not been forgotten, and as long as I breathe I will fight to prove who the real Shingle Springs Miwoks are.” I love all my Miwok kin that live now and the ones that have crossed over. If all the government agencies would just ask for Tribal Identification, the group claiming to be us might be pressing license plates instead of living on our ancestral land, since many laws and regulations have been broken by them.
LOUIE L. SMITH, III