The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is governed by ten Tribal Council members who are elected bi-annually in December and on staggered two year terms. The tribe operates under the Indian Reorganization Act Constitution and By-Laws approved on January 26, 1936 by the Department of Interior.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has a Government to Government Relationship with the Federal Government. Therefore, the Tribe contracts with or receives grants directly from Federal Agencies or the State of Nevada, to provide services to the Tribal members and residents of the Reservation. The revenue generated by the Tribe is used to support local Tribal government activities and to supplement the programs that provide direct services to the Tribal members or residents.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes’ Reservation is located thirty five miles northeast of Reno, Nevada in a remote desert area located in the counties of Washoe, Lyon, and Storey. The area of the reservation contains 475,000 acres or 742.2 square miles. Out of this acreage approximately 112,000 acres cover the surface of a terminal desert lake, Pyramid Lake. Pyramid Lake is approximately 27 miles long and 11 miles wide at its largest width. Pyramid Lake measures 350 feet at its deepest point, with a surface elevation of 3,397 feet above sea level (as of 2015). The perimeter of Pyramid Lake extends over 71 miles overall. Pyramid Lake is one of the most valuable assets of the Tribe and is entirely enclosed within the boundaries of the Reservation.
As of February 2017, living on the reservation were 1,300 individuals, 634 males and 666 females. Approximate numbers included 32.69% residing in Nixon, 10% residing in Sutcliffe, and 57.31% residing in Wadsworth. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has approximately 2,288 enrolled members. The membership statistic is an approximate number as this total changes from month to month based on membership approvals and other action taken by the Tribal Council for relinquishments and disenrollments. The majority of enrolled Tribal members reside on the reservation, with approximately 12% of this membership reside in other areas throughout the Western United States. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has a 56% employment rate and a 44% unemployment rate. The majority of the reservation resident population are young, comprised of individuals under age thirty-five (35) years. The median age is twenty-two (22) years.
Much of the economy on the Pyramid Lake Reservation is centered around fishing and recreational activities at Pyramid Lake. In addition to permit fees for fishing , day use and overnight camping, the Tribe also receives lease revenue, and tax revenue. Several Tribal members belong to the Pyramid Lake Cattleman’s Cooperative Association and the Association utilizes the reservation desert open range to operate and manage the individual cattle herds.