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Check out these Native American businesses in CA

Experience Indigenous culture, history, and tradition by checking out these 10 Indigenous-owned and -operated companies and organizations.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Presented by Visit Native California

You can explore California lands, paddle along its coasts, or try locally brewed coffee and beer with the help of these local Indigenous businesses. Their foods, drinks, stories, and lessons are unique to the Tribes that call this place home.

Blue corn mush from Wahpepah's Kitchen. Image from the @wahpepahskitchen Instagram.

1. Wahpepah’s Kitchen

This Oakland restaurant serves Native American cooking like the colorful dish above. Chef Crystal Wahpepah, a member of the Kickapoo Nation, creates a small-but-mighty menu with ingredients like charred deer meat sticks and maple cream-topped cornbread. The restaurant is steps away from the Fruitvale BART station and is the perfect place to grab dinner. Reserve a spot if you plan to visit on the weekend, as this incredible food is in high demand.

A field of sunflowers fills the bottom half of the image and a mountain dotted in trees with blue sky covers the top.
Sunflowers at Séka Hills. Photo from the @sekahills Instagram.

2. Séka Hills

Seka Hills in Capay Valley is owned and operated by the Yocha Dehe Winton Nation and produces olive oil, wildflower honey, beef jerky, spiced nuts and other artisanal foods. Seka means blue in the native Patwin language, and the name honors the blue hills that overlook this beautiful region. If you visit, try any of the seven wines made on-site, including a smooth, red Tuluk'a blend. 

The farm and winery follow sustainable practices like relying on beneficial insects for pest control and using cover crops and drip irrigation to maintain soil structure and save water. Visit the winery to try specialty foods and sip locally-grown wine.

Two women in plaid flannel shirts and vests stand in front of wine barrels holding wine glasses and bottles smiling.
Tara Gomez and Mireaia Taribó. Photo from the @camins2dreams Instagram.

3. Camins 2 Dreams

Tara Gomez, an enrolled member of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and her wife, Mireaia Taribó, are the winemakers and owners of Camins 2 Dreams, a winery based in Lompoc. The duo's Syrah and Grenache have earned the praise of publications like Wine Enthusiast. Gomez has dreamt of becoming a winemaker since childhood when she would attend weekend tastings with her wine-enthusiast parents. Can't make it to the winery in person? Try a virtual tasting!

Six people are standing or kneeling around another person in front of a newly coffee shop. They are smiling at the camera as they celebrate the opening.
Photo from the @spiritmountainroastingco Instagram.

4. Spirit Mountain Roasting Company

Spirit Mountain Roasting Company produces premium coffee beans on the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe's reservation in Southeast California. Owner Tudor Montague, an enrolled member of the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe, creates coffee indigenously - from seed to cup - by sourcing coffee beans from Indigenous farmers in Central and South America. 

The finished product completes the circle when many tribes make bulk orders for tribal events and gatherings. Shop online for their delicious beans like the Spirit Blend or Chipotle Cold Brew, or visit the cafe on the Fort Yuma Kwatsan Nation.

A person is holding a tall glass of beer over a counter.
Photo from the @featherfallscasino Instagram

5. Native American-owned breweries

According to a 2021 survey, only .4% of American breweries are owned by Indigenous people. California is home to four, including Rincon Reservation Road Brewery, the first certified Native American-owned and -operated brewery on tribal land in Southern California. Visit this history-making spot owned by the Rincon Band of the Luiseño Indians in Valley Center. 

In Humboldt County, the Yurok Tribe purchased Mad River Brewing in 2019 and have cultivated a relaxing, Native-art-filled taproom where visitors can enjoy award-winning Historic State Park IPA (which raises money for Humboldt Lagoons State Park), Steelhead Extra Pale Ale, and more delicious brews. 

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians owns Paskenta Brewery and Distillery in Tehama County, located inside Rolling Hills Casino Resort. The Corning location is the first tribal-owned distillery in California and includes a taproom serving favorites like Wintun Wheat and Paskenta Gold Golden Ale. During the production process for the company's Obsidian Spirits, the alcohol flows over a piece of uncut obsidian that a tribal elder donated.

In Oroville, Feather Falls Casino & Lodge hosts Feather Falls Brewing Co, a chic brewery and restaurant serving seasonal brews, sushi, and hand-tossed pizzas. The Butte County company is owned by the Concow-Maidu of Mooretown Rancheria, which also runs the casino. Try their Coyote Spirit Amber Ale or Broken Arrow West Coast IPA.

A person in a hoodie and jeans standing on a dirt path among mountains with their hands in their pockets as they smile at the camera.
Still from a film by Lauren Begay and Sanjana Sekhar.

6. Tour Tahquitz Canyon with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs is part of the Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian Reservation. This unique place features culturally sensitive portions like rock art and ancient irrigation systems, as well as native plants, wildlife, and a 60-foot waterfall. 

In this Visit Native California video, tribe member Anthony Purnel provides a glimpse into the cultural history, plants and animals found in the canyon. Visitors can hike the area themselves by starting at the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center and taking either a self-guided or one of the 2.5-hour guided hikes.

A person in a white ball cap and sunglasses is standing near a river. They're staring up at the sky looking content.
Photo from a film by Lauren Begay and Sanjana Sekhar.

7. WaterTreks EcoTours

Suki Waters, of the Kashia Pomo Tribe, is the owner of WaterTreks EcoTours in Jenner, California. She has a long history and love of this land where her family has lived for multiple generations. Today, Waters' company brings visitors onto the water and the coast for a memorable paddling experience.

Guided tours
include kayaking or stand up paddle boarding along Jenner's Russian River Estuary in Sonoma Coast State Park. You'll learn about the history and diverse wildlife of the river and coastal areas. The experienced guides help visitors spot dolphins, watch for harbor seals, and walk the beaches to learn about native plants and Native American culture. Watch the Visit Native California film about Suki.

A person in jeans and a black coat fishes from a boat. The water is blue-green and the shore is covered in trees.
Still from a film by Sanjana Sekr and Lauren Begay.

8. Blue Creek Guide Service

Pergish Carlson is a member of the Yurok Tribe and the owner of Blue Creek Guide Service. Visitors can experience the power and raw beauty of the Klamath River while fishing for salmon and steelhead with a guide like Pergish. The river is and has been everything to him and his family for thousands of years.

Full-day trips include rods, reels, tackle, bait, and life jackets. Contact the team to reserve your trip in advance. Scenic tours are available by request. Watch the film on Pergish here.

Four people standing on a beach in front of a paddleboard that is as wide as the four standing shoulder-to-shoulder and taller than the lifeguard stand behind them.
Photo from a film by Lauren Begay and Sanjana Bekhar.

9. Native Like Water

Marcus Lopez is a Chicano and Chumash educator and mentor for a non-profit organization called Native Like Water that reclaims natural practices and reconnects the community with with water. Native Like Water works along the coast from Kumeyaay and Payómkawichum land inviting people to experience the indigenous relationship to water by getting out on the ocean.

Marcus and the organization aim to encourage team building and self-confidence in visitors while building physical immunity and improving mental health out on the SUPsquatch, a massive standup paddleboard. This unique watercraft facilitates surf therapy and is similar to vessels used by waterpeople in Hawaii. Contact Native Like Water for day rental rates, reoccurring group rates, scholarships, and special curriculum design. Watch the Visit Native California film here.

A person with long hair and a white t-shirt is standing among plants in a large plot.
Photo from a film by Lauren Begay and Sanjana Bekhar.

10. Temalpakh Farm

Ronnie and Amanda Vance from the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians created Temalpakh Farm. The sisters are council members, and Amanda is the Chairwoman. The farm is their mother's dream. They believe we borrow the land from future generations and we are stewards for the land.

They practice sustainable farming to protect the earth and it's resources while nourishing their community. That means no harsh chemicals or pesticides, no GMO seeds or other products. The crops are USDA-certified Organic and Certified CCOF Organic.

You can support this unique farm run by one of the smallest recognized tribes in the U.S. by purchasing locally grown produce farm boxes or ordering directly from Temalpakh Farm Market. Watch the film on this amazing organization here.

All times and offerings are current at times of publishing. Please contact the companies/organizations to learn their offerings, hours, and prices when you are interested in booking.

Feature image of Tara Gomez and Mireaia Taribó. Photo from the Camins 2 Dreams Instagram.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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