The Round Valley Indian Reservation began in 1856 as the Nome Cult Farm, an administrative extension of the Nomalacki Reservation located on the Northwestern edge of the Sacramento Valley, one of the five reservations in California legislated by the United States Government in 1853. The system of Indian reservations had a dual purpose: to protect Indians by segregating them from the settlers converging on California in greater and greater numbers; and to free Indian land for their use
When the reservation was established, the Yuki people (as they came to be called) of Round Valley were forced into a difficult and unusual situation. Their traditional homeland was not completely taken over by settlers as in other parts of California. Instead, a small part of it was reserved especially for their use as well as the use of other Indians, many of whom were enemies of the Yuki. The Yuki had to share their home with strangers who spoke other languages, lived with other beliefs, and who used the land and its products differently.
Indians came to Round Valley as they did to other reservations - by force. The word "drive", widely used at the time, is descriptive of the practice of "rounding up" Indians and "driving" them like cattle to the reservation where they were "corralled" by high picket fences. Such drives took place in all weather and seasons, and the elderly and sick often did not survive.
From years of intermarriage, a common lifestyle, and a shared land base, a unified community emerged. The descendants of Yuki, Concow Maidu, Little Lake and other Pomo, Nomlaki, Cahto, Wailaki, Pit River peoples formed a new tribe on the reservation-the Covelo Indian Community. This Community later came to be called the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Their heritage is a rich combination of different cultures, with a common reservation experience and history.