Opinion | Federal Recognition

Letter: Appalling treatment of Mishewal Wappo Tribe recognition

"I am absolutely appalled by the way the county of Napa, not to mention the other counties, chose to handle its involvement with the Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley’s lawsuit with the federal government.

When I received your “Keeping In Touch” newsletter, I became infuriated by the “Frequently Asked Questions” link that you have provided to “inform” the public. I cannot believe how inaccurate, convoluted and offensive these supposed “facts” are.

First off, you begin by stating, “The Federal Court system does not have the power to restore tribal status,” then in the next paragraph state, “the Alexander Valley Rancheria sued the United States government for restoration of their tribal status, as a part of the Tilly Hardwick class-action lawsuit. ... Other Native American claims were settled in that case.”

So, clearly, tribes can be restored in the courts. With regard to the termination of the Wappo, you are not accurately representing the Mishewal Wappo Tribe’s existence and history and instead cutting and pasting from the county of Sonoma’s attempt at a historical report by the supposed expert, Stephen Beckham."

Get the Story:
Janell Cooper: An open letter to Supervisor Diane Dillon (The Napa Valley Register 5/20)

Another Opinion:
Bob Blair: Tribal rights will prevail (The Santa Maria Times 5/19)

Also Today:
Wappo Indians want to reclaim recognition, land (The San Francisco Chronicle 5/18)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Mishewal Wappo Tribe recognition a serious issue (5/3)
Tribe asks judge to remove counties from recognition case (02/22)
Judge blocks an appeal in Mishewal Wappo recognition case (2/3)
Counties trying to appeal Mishewal Wappo recognition case (01/18)

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