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Indian Canyon History

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Indian Canyon has been a home and refuge to the Mutsun band of Costanoan (Ohlone) Indians for many thousands of years. The Mutsun people lived in a number of tribelets, with a territory encompassing the Pajaro River drainage, in what is now San Benito County. During the Mission Period, these people were forced off of their land, either into the missions or further into the hills. Many retreated, or escaped, to the longtime sanctuary of Indian Canyon. Since that time, the number of Costanoan Indians has dwindled. Like many California tribes, the Costanoan people continue to seek recognition from the federal government.

Indian Canyon is still a refuge for members of the Mutsun Band. Anne Marie Sayers, one of the few remaining descendents of the Mutsun was raised on this land, and has secured 275 acres of the original land as designated ‘Indian Country.’ This is the only Indian-held land between Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara, from the coast inland to the Sierra foothills. Tens of thousands of Indians lived in this area prior to the Mission period; between fifty and two hundred thousand live there now.  Indian Canyon serves as a refuge for these people who have no sacred land upon which they can perform their ceremonies. Up to 5,000 people visit this hidden refuge each year, taking part in ritual, educational programs, and vision quests.


A Friend of Indian Canyon built this website to raise awareness of the proposed Village House in Indian Canyon.  For further information contact Ann Marie Sayers, tribal chairperson, by email or phone at 831-637-4238.  For information about this website please contact webmaster. Privacy Policy
 Revised: 05/09/09.