Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA - Sogorea Te, also known as Glen Cove, was the site of a 109-day protest from mid-April to late in July last year.
Jeff Flores, Cultural Monitor
American Indians from the San Francisco Bay area gather at the 3,500 year old Sogorea Te sacred burial site, which contains ancestral human remains, several times each year to hold ceremonies and opposed any further development of the site.
The protesters waged an occupation there to demonstrate their opposition to the building of two toilets and 15 parking spaces on the site that were proposed by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District and endorsed by the City of Vallejo.
Recent Photograph of the Sogorea Te Sacred Burial Site
In late July 2011, the Yocha Dehe Wintun and Cortina tribes established a cultural easement and settlement agreement with the City of Vallejo and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District to end the 109 day protest.
The agreement was signed and protestors left. But, upon review of the site, some of the protestors are now disappointed with how much of the pristine foliage has been disturbed by construction.
“I am disappointed. There are way too many trees cut down and the road was graded too much. I think we have been lied to,”
remarked Henry Padilla, Diné, Apache and Cherokee, and a resident of the Vallejo.
One reader of the Native News Network who identified himself as living close to the Sogorea Te sent an email indicating he felt the city was not living up to the easement agreement.
The agreement set a legal precedent for granting Native peoples jurisdiction over their sacred sites and ancestral lands. The cultural easement forever guarantees that the Yocha Dehe and Cortina tribes will have legal oversight in all activities taking place on the sacred burial grounds of Sogorea Te. It also represents a significant step forward in enacting tribal sovereignty, as the first such easement under California Senate Bill 18 to be negotiated at the city and recreational district levels.
In late December 2011, the Native News Network paid an unannounced visit to Sogorea Te to see the construction progress and took photographs of the site.
"I am here every day watching what is going on. The city is living up to the agreement," stated Jeff Flores, cultural monitor for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.
posted January 3, 2011 6:30 am est
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