Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Bear Gulch Bridge decision postponed again

The Times Standard reports that the decision will be made at the Supervisors' meeting on December 9 to allow for the testimony of a couple of tribal leaders who couldn't make yesterday's meeting.

So non-Humboldt County residents get to determine what locals name their Humboldt County bridge? The Inter-Tribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council's position is absurd on the face of it. Take the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria. As far as I know not a single Bear River tribal member can recall an actual Bear River tribal ancestor. The Bear River Band has never occupied the Bear River watershed. The tribe is composed of survivors of several tribes decimated in the California Indian Wars, Wiyot, Mattole, "Eel River" (Nongatl--Van Duzen-Yager Creek, South Fork Eel--Walaiki) yet they are content with their name "Bear River" having grown used to it over nearly a century of usage. "Round Valley" tribal members are in the same category as composite tribes mixed together by happenstance of war. Yet the Inter-Tribal Wilderness Council feels free to use these composite tribal members to tell local Walaikis that they must honor the "true" ancestors here using old white anthropologists reports which are notorious inaccurate as "proof" of such claims.

Local Walaikis have the authority to name, rename, change or do whatever they want as the local Native American tribe that is HERE and NOW. Not to honor local tribal sovereignty has been the Inter-Tribal Wilderness Council's goal from the very start when EPIC was fearful of local tribes regaining the Sinkyone Wilderness area and logging it--so they set up their non-profit front organization, I-TSWC, to dictate to our local tribal people wanting to reestablish their own tribal identity and tribal territorial jurisdiction which, as with the Bear River, Round Valley, Blue Lake, and many many other tribes created by non-tribal victors, is the point in history where they can do so. Honor it.
Thank you, Oh Great White Father, for speaking for us Indians. Where would we be without you?
There is more at stake than the name of a bridge. That's why there's a big fight over this. Someday the Sinkyone might build a casino at the four corners.
That is pure BS. Us whities should support our local indians in the naming of the bridge.
why can't we have a sign withe the name "bear gulch bridge" on one side and "Walaiki pass" one the other. that sounds like a nice compromise.
Wait'll they get around to fighting over the naming of the two new bridges on the Confusion Hill bypass.
How about the big one, Hilaiki and the other, Lolaiki with a casino in the middle?
They could just name the Confusion Hill Bridges "Stephen" and "Lewis."
Name-calling is all you have? Been there, done, zillions of times and don't you get it? It never works. But thanks for adding to my name recognition but you needn't bother. It won't be just bridges named after me although bridges are appropriate because I did start and run The Bridge, SoHum's most popular community meeting hall and activist center ever, even hosting 2 official CR classes and scores of important community meetings over its 5 year span.

Any European-Americans who have moved into Native American territory should honor the indigenous people they've forcibly dispossessed of everything meaningful to their lives. But renege on that moral obligation and continue to call me names. You know what this European-American stands for with years of work to stand as proof that not all of us are still behaving as assholes to Native Americans.
Yesterday's KMUD news story on this was pretty amazing. Pricilla Hunter of the Pomo down in southern Mendocino was whining at the Supervisors about all the time they were wasting on this decision she wanted to inflict on them. She seemed to think she deserved deference for having to drive 150 miles to try to stop people in another county from naming a local bridge for local people, a hundred miles away from her. WTF!?
FYI, at least one of the Confusion Hill bridges has already been named, after Minnie Stoddard Lilley.
I should correct: WILL be named. The resolution was unanimously approved by the Legislature.
The Bear River Tribal Council that contributed so heavily to the Progressive cause of Paul Gallegos' election for reasons that became quite clear later to tribal members unaware their casino earnings were being used this way, chimed in on the Bear Gulch Bridge naming in favor of the Native American dead instead of the living. Bear River in the past under leadership of some of the same people on the current Tribal Council tried to get possession of Indian Island, a tribal territorial aggression stopped in its tracks when the Bear River Tribal Council elected Wayne Moon, who's Council backed out Heartland Project for almost three years. Looks to me like Bear River is again overstepping their territory to try to block a potential tribal rival from gaining even this token of local community support.
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