Sorry Steve, unfortunately you miss the point of the Honor Tax. It is about sovereignty. That's the issue. Our choosing the Wiyot Tribe of Table Bluff, along with partners, was in no way intended to imply malice or disrespect for the Bear River or any other local tribal group in Humboldt County. By reading the Honor Tax material - please see the website, you will see that our paying the Honor Tax is a way to respect and recognize the Wiyot Traditional Territory - where our office is located.
It is also an effort to create a vehicle and process for non-Native people to acknowledge and honor Native homelands... whether in Humboldt County or wherever they are. For healing, reconciliation, honor.
It is distressing that you have taken this position against the Honor Tax, in a way that would appear to be in sabotage of a possible healing process and way to open understanding between peoples. Let me reiterate, the Wiyot Tribe never requested this "Honor Tax" - residents, businesses and organizations residing in their traditional territories have decided voluntarily, without being asked, to levy this tax against ourselves.
The Honor Tax follows a long line of activities and opportunities for local Humboldt County residents to recognize the sovereignty of the tribal lands they are on.
The annual Wiyot Memorial, in February, of the massacre on Indian Island, as well as the City of Eureka's return of Wiyot land/sacred site, are only a couple of such efforts to make peace and reconcile between our many peoples.
I would encourage friends of Bear River to initiate a similar Honor Tax efforts in communities that lie within your tribal territory/jurisdiction. You are welcome to call our office or to our partners, to explore how we are proceeding with this effort.
With regard to the more than 30 year history of the community based work of the Seventh Generation Fund, please visit our website at www.7genfund.org and view the impact of our work, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our record speaks clearly for itself.
Now let's set the record straight regarding the Bear River's Heartland Project / Headwaters Forest. When this took place, several years ago, I personally, and Seventh Generation Fund, were the only Native people aggressively advocating for the involvement and return of oldgrowth forests to traditional Native community ownership. I never called anyone a "homeless Indian" - - that term is not in my vocabulary, because every Indian has home, that's their ancestral territory, whether it is held by their tribe or not.
Finally, thank you for your response to this very exciting initiative that has been launched in Humboldt County -- the Honor Tax. This is an honorable and hopeful strategy for tribal sovereignty, healing, reconciliation, and continuity.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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