According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 220,657 American Indians living in California.
It is estimated there were around 300,000 California Indians in the 18th century, in about 250 distinct Indian cultures and California Indians spoke over 300 different dialects of some 100 languages. In 1832-1833, the Hudson Bay Co. sponsored a fur trapping/scouting expedition to California. The expedition introduced smallpox, influenza and measles to the Indian population. This single expedition resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the entire California Indian population, destroying entire villages and tribes. In the 1850s, the Gold Rush further devastated the Indian population. By 1860, less than 20 percent of the original Indian population remained.
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Contact information for California Tribes and Bands, which are recognized by the federal or state government plus non-recognized tribes seeking recognition. There are 107 federally-recognized Indian tribes and 95 Federal Indian reservations in the state of California, with about 40 Indian groups seeking to gain federal recognition.