The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has opened its new Housing Services office, which will help improve accessibility for its tribal members, officials announced.
The building, located at the Old Mill Site in North Fork, is 3,553 square feet in size, and was built using a $605,000 2014 Indian Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as tribal funds.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, Aug. 25, attended by California State Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) as well as county and tribal leaders.
“As a landless tribe until just a few years ago and part of a community that was devastated with the closure of the Old Saw Mill in the 1990s, we have worked hard, creatively, and collaboratively to rebuild both,” said Gary Walker, chairman of the rancheria’s tribal council. “And throughout the process we had the best partners possible from the North Fork Community Development Council, to (Madera County) Supervisor Tom Wheeler and his capable staff, and Assemblyman Bigelow, among many others."
“The North Fork Tribe is the biggest employer and developer in our small, remote foothills community, a real life saver,” said Brittany Dyer, Wheeler’s chief of staff. “They’ve been instrumental in construction of a Tribal Government Office, Tribal TANF and Transportation Buildings, fire station, community center, housing units, and much more, and all done in a true spirit of collaboration with limited resources. We greatly appreciate their contributions to the County of Madera.”
The North Fork Rancheria has over 2,200 tribal citizens, and was federally recognized as a tribe in 1983.