This article analyzes the impact of colonialism on nineteenth-century Native California communities, particularly during the American annexation of the West and capitalist ventures in mining and milling towns. Using the case study of Mono Lake Kutzadika Paiute employed by the Bodie and Benton Railroad and Lumber Company at Mono Mills, the lasting legacies of colonialism and its impacts on contemporary struggles for self-determination are explored. The study highlights the role of capitalism as a potent form of colonialism and its enduring effects on tribes’ ability to meet federal acknowledgment standards. This approach contributes to a richer understanding of colonial processes and their impacts on indigenous communities both historically and today.

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