by Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA - Organizers of the Sogorea Te sacred burial site takeover met on Monday to strategize with 40 people from Vallejo and the greater San Francisco Bay area over Saturday announcement from Governor Jerry Brown that he is being forced to close one-quarter of California’s 278 state parks.
Park 1-Mile Away
At issue for the organizers was the proposed closing of the Benicia State Recreation Area, which is one of 70 of the state parks being closed, is close to the sacred burial site. The reason cited for closing the Benicia State Recreation Area is the underutilization of the state park.
The protesters have been at Sogorea Te since April 13th, when they took over the site in protest of the proposed $1.5 million construction of the two toilets and a parking lot. Protesters wonder why the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) think it is necessary disturb the pristine sacred burial site, given the Benicia State Recreation Area has been deemed underutilized and only one-mile away.
The protesters were encouraged when the mayor of Richmond, California, which is 15-miles from Vallejo, was published in the local “Vallejo Times-Herald” stating, in part:
“This sacred site in Vallejo offers so much for the City of Vallejo. It offers an opportunity for the city to embrace a very unique place and show that it respects and preserves the history that took place at this site.”
“I call upon the GVRD to find an amiable solution. As someone who works closely with the Native American community in Richmond, I would be happy to be a part of a meeting to include the Sacred Site committee, the GVRD, and the Native American Heritage Commission Board (in Sacramento). It would be in the interest of all to sit down together, discuss the situation and hopefully come to a mutually beneficial resolution.”
Full Moon Over the Sogorea Te Sacred Burial Site
Protesters remain hopeful a resolution can be resolved. The “Red Voice Singers” returned again to sing prayer songs this evening, and the full moon hung bright in the sky, shimmering over the water and setting everything aglow.
posted May 17, 2011 6:17 am et
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