The Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation is a federally recognized tribal nation located in southwestern Colusa County, California. The Nation’s population at present stands at 249 tribal citizens located primarily within a four-county service area in California including and adjacent to Colusa County.
The Cortina Indian Rancheria was established on June 26, 1907 by order of the Secretary of the Interior, to set aside 160 acres of land for the exclusive use of the tribe, subsequently ordering an additional 480 acres of land adding to the initial trust land holdings bringing the total to 640 acres comprising the Cortina Indian Rancheria.
On December 15, 2018, the voters of the tribe amended the Constitution and Bylaws of the Cortina Band of Wintun Indians and adopted the Governing Law of the Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation as well an updated name for the Nation, which was a return to the traditional name of the Nation while retaining the name of Cortina Rancheria as the official name of the Nation’s federal trust land.
The Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation’s historical territory encompassed much of southwestern Colusa County totaling more than 200 Square miles of oak forests, chaparral, foothills, canyons, creeks, springs, and parts of valley plains. The Nation identifies by its traditional name of Kletsel Dehe which means Home of the Ground squirrel Tribe, and by the specific name of Kletwin which means Ground Squirrel People, as well as more general names such as Wintun, Patwin and Hill-Patwin.
The Nation recognizes thirteen traditional villages that once comprised the villages of Kletwin Peoples including: Klet, Ko-Te-Nah, Nik-me, Shoo-Koo-ee, Ke-der Hlab-be, Loo-Kus, Bah-kah-'Hhlab-be, Cho-Che, Wi-Ko'Sel, Oo-Le, Mun-Maht-Lah, To-e-de-he, Yakut.
The Seal of Nation holds many symbolic meanings, starting from the center, four acorns arranged in for directions to pay respect to the primary traditional food source of the Nation, then a basket design known as the “Stairway to Heaven” design, followed by two sets of thirteen diamonds on either side to represent the thirteen traditional villages of the Nation, followed by the first federally recognized name of the Nation and establishment year of 1907, and followed finally by the current name of the Nation as the Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation bracketed by four diamonds in four directions to honor balance in all directions with the primary colors of the Nation being red black and white.
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