City agrees to work with Wiyot Tribe on return of ancestral land

A view of Indian Island in California. Photo by Ellin Beltz via Wikipedia

The city council in Eureka, California, voted unanimously to work with the Wiyot Tribe on the return of Indian Island.

The tribe lived on the island until it was nearly wiped out by a massacre on February 26, 1860. The event disrupted the annual World Renewal Ceremony and tribal members weren't allowed to return home.

“The center of our world is Indian Island,” council member Chery Seidner told the city council last night, The Eureka Times-Standard reported. “This is where we come, this is where we sing, this is where we pray.”

The city and the tribe will set up a committee to determine how to return the land. The transfer will not affect privately-owned property on the island.

The tribe has been able to purchase a small portion of the island in 2000 and the city donated another 60 acres in 2006. The tribe has spent $3 million to clean up the site.

The tribe held the World Renewal Ceremony on the island last year for the first time since the 1860 massacre.

Get the Story:
Eureka City Council agrees to give land back to Wiyot Tribe (KRCR 4/7)
Council urged expediency in returning Indian Island (The Eureka Times-Standard 4/8)

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