The Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation is a federally recognized Indian Tribal Nation of Tolowa Indians. The Nation is located 3 miles south of the Oregon-California border in Northwest California. The Tribe's general membership consists of over 1,900 citizens governed by a 7-member Tribal Council elected by the general membership. Tribal Council members are:

  • Jeri Thompson, Chairperson
  • Scott D Sullivan, Vice-Chairperson
  • Debbie Boardman, Secretary
  • Jaytuk Steinruck, Treasurer
  • Dr. Joseph Giovannetti
  • Amanda O'Connell
  • Dorothy Wait

Other Departments

Tribal operations are administered by Executive Director, Troy Ralstin. Other departments include:

  • Clerical Support
  • Community and Family Wellness
  • Records & Enrollment
  • Education
  • Environmental Programs
  • Fiscal
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Housing
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Language Preservation
  • Maintenance
  • THPO Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Property Holdings

Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation property holdings include:

  • A drinking water system
  • Gaming Agency Offices
  • Howonquet Cemetery
  • Prince Island
  • Senior Apartments
  • Tribal Administrative Offices
  • UIHS Medical/Dental Clinic
  • Xaa-wan'-k'wvt (Howonquet) Early Learning Program
  • Xaa-wan'-k'wvt (Howonquet) Hall Community Center

Enterprise Holdings

Enterprise holdings include Lucky 7 casino, Lucky 7 Fuel Mart, Howonquet Lodge, Xaa-wan'-k'-wvt Village & Resort, and Xaa-wan'-k'wvt (Howonquet) Early Learning Program.

Cultural Identity

Our Citizens are descended from the original inhabitants of the Nation's Ancestral Territory, specifically, the lands and watersheds of Wilson Creek to the South, the Sixes River to the North, East to the Applegate watershed in the Coastal Range, and West to the Pacific Ocean horizon, all sea stacks including Point St. George Lighthouse, and all usual and accustomed places.

In 1906 the "Landless California Indians Act", also called the "Rancheria Act" was established. The Act made appropriations for the purchase of lands for landless Indians; but in 1960, the Federal trust relationship with the Tolowa people was terminated and community lands were allotted to individuals.

Economic Contributions

In 1983 the Tillie Hardwick class action lawsuit was settled; overturning the "termination" of 1960. The center of the decision rested on the fact that the Tolowa people in Smith River, along with 13 other Tribes, never stopped acting as a government.

Our Government, Culture, and Traditions survived colonialism and termination because we persisted and never gave up our identities. We continue our traditions of a strong government with comprehensive Tribal programs and our Culture with traditional activities.

Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation and its subsidiary operations contribute to the local economy in several ways.


Lucky 7 Casino, Lucky 7 Fuel Mart, House of Howonquet Restaurant, Howonquet Day Care, and Tribal Administration employs approximately 200 people. The combined gross annual payroll exceeds 4 million dollars. Our employees pay all applicable local, state, and federal payroll taxes. The Tribe also contributes to the community in the form of direct donations.

Tribal Statistics

  • Tribal Acres: 900 acres
  • Elected Tribal Council Members: 7
  • Employees: Over 200
  • Tribal Citizens: 1,900