News From Native California Volume 31, Issue 3 - Page 62

BIG TIMES/Little Times By Terria Smith SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED SINCE THE LAST ISSUE OF THE MAGAZINE! Native News Online reported that a record five thousand people attended the Alcatraz Sunrise Ceremony on Thanks- giving Day 2017. A major highlight of the event was the attendance of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who rose to prominence playing for the San Francisco 49ers and refusing to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. His actions have been controversial, as many have interpreted this as disrespect to the American flag. During the sunrise ceremony, Kaepernick was gifted with two eagle feathers by American Indian Movement spiritual advisor Fred Short. Morning Star Gali (Pit River/Apache) served as the Mistress of Ceremonies during the event. Also in attendance were dancers and singers from the Round Valley Indian Tribes, who shared during the ceremony, and Radley Davis (Pit River), who offered a prayer. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that it will not hear Desert Water Agency’s appeal in its case against the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The Desert Sun reported that the agency and the Coachella Valley Water District had appealed a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the tribe has a right to groundwater dating back to the federal government’s creation of the reservation in the 1870s. This decision is a major win for the tribe! Congratulations also to the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, who received the first tribal water rights settlement of the Trump era, executed by the Department of the Inte- rior. Though the settlement was ratified by Congress in 2016, under President Obama, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke finalized it all. In December, The Nation featured a story focusing on Judge Abby Abinanti of the Yurok Tribal Court and how she is fighting for her tribe as well as a better justice system. 60 ▼ N E WS F ROM N AT IVE C AL IFO RNIA Judge Abinanti was also one of the central figures in the PBS documentary Tribal Justice, which premiered last year. Great news! In December, The Mercury News reported that the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Agency’s board of directors voted unanimously to grant property rights at Mount Umunhum to the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. The newspaper stated that under the agreement, the tribe will be allowed to build a garden in a flat area that was once used for base housing and other structures and to hold up to six ceremonies a year on the summit with the public excluded, according to a memorandum of understanding. The ACLU of Northern California proudly recognized Jim McQuillen (Yurok Tribe), a dynamic champion for Cal- ifornia’s indigenous students in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, with the 2017 Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award at Bill of Rights Day on December 3, 2017. Congratulations! In mid-December, the Yurok Tribe released a statement criticizing the future placement of the Trinidad Lighthouse. “To move the memorial in the midst of the consultation pro- cess, under the guise of an ‘emergency,’ is disgraceful and disrespectful,” said Rosie Clayburn, director of the Yurok Tribe’s cultural division. “We have been working, in good faith, with the City of Trinidad and Trinidad Civic Club to relocate the memorial to a place where it would not disturb our ancestors and where it would not be in danger from fall- ing.” After the memorial lighthouse began to slip in the winter of 2016, the Yurok Tribe contacted the City of Trini- dad and the Trinidad Civic Club to initiate an official dialogue regarding the relocation of the monument to an area that would be acceptable to all. The lighthouse replica was erected in the late 1940s and sits atop a traditional Yurok village sit B۝Z[[H\H[Y]\H\YY [\ H]\\H[YH]H]\\[H\ HXBY]HX\H[H[ݙYH\[][ۈ]ۙ\YH[X[\\H[]]\وX[B[]\[Z[Y\ˈH]][ۈ܈HY\K\