Health of Greenville Rancheria, tribal offices destroyed by Dixie Fire
California’s largest active wildfire razed several buildings belonging to a Native American tribe in Greenville and forced around 25 members to evacuate their homes.
The Dixie fire on Wednesday destroyed Greenville Rancheria’s medical and dental facilities, the tribal office, the environment and fire department, as well as two fire trucks and other vehicles. Photos from the tribal office only show a metal statue of an eagle still standing.
“It tears my heart apart because this is our debut, which contains all of our historical records,” said Tribal President Angela Martin. “It’s our start, and now it doesn’t even hold. The only thing left is that eagle over there.
In total, the Greenville Rancheria has 162 members living in different parts of California, said Lucretia Fletcher, an executive with the Greenville Rancheria Tribal Health Center. Some of the members live at the historic mission site on Greenville Reservation Road, about three miles east of the tribal office and health buildings.
Martin said about 20 to 30 people live at the mission, including members and non-members.
Fletcher said that as far as she is aware, the mission homes were not affected by the fire.
“The fire is getting closer and closer,” said Fletcher. “(With) this being historic for Greenville, we hope the fire misses this.”
A map of damaged structures released by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shows that the Mission area has yet to be assessed for potential damage.
Speaking from the health center’s satellite office in Red Bluff, Fletcher said staff in Greenville shut down the health center on July 23 after starting preparations to leave the area the previous days.
She has helped staff and patients evacuate and relocate to hotels in surrounding areas like Reno, Susanville, and Tehama County.
Fletcher said she wanted the community to know people are there to help. She encouraged people to follow evacuation orders and said people who need help from the rancheria or want to offer help can contact the Dixie Fire phone line at the rancheria at 530-528 -3484.
The members of Greenville Rancheria are one of the many Maidu groups living in the area, Martin said.
Redding Rancheria seeks help
Redding Rancheria President Jack Potter Jr. said his tribe members were looking for ways to help Greenville Rancheria members displaced by the Dixie fire.
“We actually have connections with a lot of people in Greenville,” Potter said. “A lot of our loved ones were sent to Greenville for residential school, so we have family ties with people there.”
Potter said the Redding Rancheria Tribal Council held an emergency telephone meeting on Thursday where they reserved rooms for the evacuees at the Win-River Resort and Casino and the Hilton Garden Inn. Potter said he got a call from someone on Friday who was leaving after staying in his car in Chico.
Potter said when members of Redding Rancheria meet on Tuesday, they will likely decide to send money for supplies to a facility that is expected to open to evacuees from the Susanville Rancheria.
Potter expressed disappointment with the destruction of health buildings and said it can be difficult for tribes to get the funding they need from the federal government to recover.
“Native Americans already have substandard health care,” Potter said. “Hearing that their health facility that provides medical and dental (services) has disappeared, it will take time to rebuild it. ”
Matt Brannon covers politics, the criminal justice system and the latest news for Record Searchlight. Follow him on twitter @MattBrannon_RS. Support local coverage and stay in touch with the Northern State for as little as $ 1 per month. Subscribe today.