For thousands of years the Yurok, Wiyot and Tolowa people have lived in the coastal redwood forest region of Northern California. They were fishers, hunters and gatherers who subsisted primarily on salmon, clams, mussels and other ocean fish, as well as deer, elk and smaller game animals. Assorted berries and tan oak acorns were also food staples. Year-round ceremonies were, and continue to be, central to the Yurok, Wiyot and Tolowa culture bringing families and villages together to give thanks, heal and pray.
The Trinidad Rancheria was established in 1906 by enactment of the United States Congress which gave authority for the Federal Government to purchase small tracts of land for homeless California Indians.
In 1908, sixty acres of land along U.S. Highway 101 in Humboldt County were purchased for Indians living along the Northern California Coast. The existing Rancheria is within the aboriginal territory of the Yurok people and includes many sacred and culturally significant areas. The Tribe has ancestral ties to the Yurok, Wiyot and Tolowa peoples. All three tribes traditionally lived in the coastal region of Northern California and share a similar cultural heritage.