Invitation to the Sacramento Valley Indigenous

We believe that indigenous people should have the right to practice traditional ways on their traditional lands and are therefore making an invitation to native peoples who wish to carry on or renew some of their plant-related traditions.

Since most of the indigenous people of this region own little land, their ability to use traditional land management practices has long ago ended. We feel this is a tragedy and we encourage landowners to allow indigenous people to continue or begin to rekindle traditional relationships with native plants, where possible, on their homelands.

Being fortunate that we are to hold title to some acreage, ECCFTL extends an invitation to the Nomlaki, the Wintu, the Patwin, the Yuki, the Yana, the Konkow, and all other descendants of the indigenous peoples who lived in the Sacramento Valley for thousands of years before contact with civilized cultures. If you are of indigenous Sacramento Valley heritage and desire to gather plant material for food, medicine, fiber or tools, especially if you desire to establish and tend to a specific site for such purposes, you are invited to our home.

While gaming may be part of the heritage of the Nomlaki, we do not see the modern manifestation of the Rolling Hills Casino as a traditional way. We see it as an economic choice in a capitalist system. What we mean by traditional is that the activity is imbued with the spirit of relationship to land, that its methods use the same (or similar) materials of their uncivilized ancestors, and that its scale is appropriate to the land. For example, two hundred people showing up to gather willow or Rhus stems for basket making would surely result in an unsustainable over-harvest of the plant. Likewise, one person showing up to cut ash or walnut for pit-house building with a chainsaw would push the boundaries of “traditional” beyond our comfort level. So we intend to exert the privileges of being landowners in a manner that matches our personal responsibility to the land, while opening up new possibilities for cultural collaborations.

As for hunting, we believe that the number of animals of any given species taken should be none or very few given the conditions these populations currently face, as well as the relatively small size of the land. Therefore, while we’re not completely opposed to others hunting on the land that is our home, we would need to discuss any requests in depth.

We also invite the California Indian Basketweavers Association to establish a relationship with our land for the sustainable management of basket making materials. Willow and sumac (Rhus trilobata) are our most abundant weaving plants.

We wish to be clear in making this invitation that we would not expect to participate in any cultural activities unless specifically invited, and without such invitation any involvement on our part would be limited to setting expectations for potential impact on the land.

If you are interested in contacting us regarding this invitation, please send us a message via the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can:

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