Striking it Rich in the Gold Country: Jackson's Miwuks

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If you are driving down Hwy 49 towards the city of Jackson you can still see a tall, rusty, mining head in the distance. It is a remnant of Jacksons gold mining past, standing over the Kennedy Mine like an ancient guardian protecting it's lair. The mining head was once used to lower miners into the depths of the earth as they searched for the precious metal, but now it serves as a tourist attraction and historical landmark for the city of Jackson which prides itself on it's gold mining past. This past is also reflected in the architecture on Main Street Jackson which is reminiscent of the storefronts of the late 1800's with signs hanging in front of each establishment, stenciled and painted onto the large glass windows displays. It is a city tied to it's history and built around the “gold country” motiff. However, if you turn onto Hwy 88 and head north a few miles you will run into another reminder of Jacksons past; the Jackson Rancheria Indian Casino and the owners, the Jackson band of Miwuks. The Jackson Rancheria Casino is built upon the Miwuk reservation which lies in northern Jackson and borders the city of Pine Grove. An acorn in front of two oak leaves crossed behind it is proudly displayed as it's logo. It is reflective of another culture that existed long before the gold miners rushed into Jackson in hopes to strike it rich. A culture which – like many other Native American cultures – has had to deal with the consequences of settlers and the gold rush, which

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