Ohlone Costanoan
Esselen Nation
     Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation (OCEN) is historically known
    as the Monterey Band of Monterey County as the results of the
    Congressional Homeless Indian Acts of 1906, 1908 and later years.  Both
    Special Indian Agent Charles E. Kelsey (1905-1913), and Reno
    Superintendent, James Jenkins (Reno Agency Annual Report 1923)
    identified our tribe as the Monterey Band of Monterey County.  Charles
    Kelsey specifically identified on the 1905-1906 Special Indian Census,
    Thomas Miranda and family living on the Sur Rancheria (currently there
    are more than 100 members of this lineage enrolled in OCEN).  Before
    that in 1883 Special Indian Agent Helen Hunt Jackson identified our tribe
    as the "San Carlos Indians, living near the old San Carlos Mission at
    Monterey" and she wrote to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs notifying
    him about placing our tribe along with the Santa Ynez Chumash directly
    under her jurisdiction [see Heizer, ed 1979 Federal Concern About
    Conditions of California Indians 1853 to 1913: Eight Documents Ballena
    Press Publications No. 13 page 88.]

    Under the 1928 California Indian Jurisdictional Act our Tribal Elders and
    their families enrolled with the BIA and we identified ourselves as either
    "Tribe: Mission San Carlos" or as Esselen." Our families again enrolled
    with the BIA during the second (1948-1955) and third (1968-1970)
    enrollment periods.  Our direct ancestors served as linguistic consultants to
    Alexander Taylor (1856), Alfred Kroeber (1902-1910), C. Hart Merriam
    (1902-1922), and John P. Harrington, Field Ethnologist for the
    Smithsonian Museum's Bureau of American Ethnology (1930-1939), as
    well as other linguists.

    To date OCEN has completed all the standards and requirements under the
    current administrative process 25 CFR Part 83 for reaffirmation as a
    Federally Recognized Tribe.  Our Tribe was never legally "Terminated" by
    any act of Congress, but instead suffered neglect by those BIA agents
    charged to purchase home sites under the Congressional Homeless
    California Indian Appropriation Acts.  Agency Superintendents such as
    Lafayette A. Dorrington who was responsible for the Sacramento Agency
    from 1918 to 1930, was derelict in his duties and argued as his personal
    belief that land should not be purchased for California Indians.  It was due
    to his "gross negligence" and crass indifference" that our tribal band as well
    as one hundred and thirty four other California tribes were removed from
    the list of Recognized tribes by 1927.

    We have also demonstrated that our Tribe was never legally "Terminated"
    by any act of Congress, Executive action or Federal Court Order.  In fact,
    Recognition is for perpetuity, until the Tribe notifies Congress of its desire
    to "Terminate" itself and abandon its tribal status as a tribe.

    Presently Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation represents over 600 enrolled
    tribal members of Esselen, Carmeleno, Monterey Band, Rumsen, Chalon,
    Soledad Mission, San Carlos Mission (Carmel) and/or Costanoan Mission
    Indian descent from at least 19 villages from a contiguous region
    surrounding Monterey Bay.  We often hear why does Esselen Nation claim
    so many village homelands? The answer is, "The descendants of these
    villages comprise the historic Monterey Band of Monterey County and
    they chose to enroll in OCEN/Esselen Nation as their legal tribal
    government representative."  
Official Tribal Website
Photograph of Shewker (Redtail Hawk) by Louise J. Miranda Ramirez
Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Indians of the
Greater Monterey Bay Area
Photo by: Louise J. Miranda Ramirez
Pacific Grove, CA - June 2012
2016 Monterey County Map reflecting
O.C.E.N. Historical Villages