Native American Heritage Month 2022
Emerging Land Rights and Partnerships
According to California's Indian Tribes and Tribal Communities, there are approximately 110 federally recognized Indian tribes, including several tribes located in California, with approximately 81 groups seeking federal recognition, see generally the State of California Native American Heritage Commission. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, this article highlights recent land developments directly related to Native Americans.
Save the Redwoods League announced that it is transferring 523 acres on the Lost Coast to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a group of 10 tribes that have inhabited the area for thousands of years and will be responsible for protecting the land. It will again be known as Tc'ih-Léh-Dûñ, or "Fish Run Place" in the Sinkyone language. The area was formerly known as Andersonia West.
In 2019, Governor Newsom entered Executive Order N-15-19 acknowledging the violence and mistreatment against Indigenous peoples. More recently and in connection with this order, an approved budget provided for funding to strengthen partnerships with California Native American tribes to achieve the state's ambitious climate and conservation goals. In October 2022, a new partnership was announced for more co-management of tribes' ancestral lands. Five California tribes will reclaim their right to manage coastal land significant to their history under a first-in-the-nation program backed with $3.6 million in state money.
The U.S. Forest Service has partnered with two indigenous tribes, the Karuk Tribe and Yurok Tribe, to implement controlled burnings into land management procedures. The first Native American director of the National Park Service, Charles Sam III, now in command, has brought more Native American perspectives to light and preserved and protected crucial history and culture.