Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
Protesters Rally to Victory
SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA - Organizers of the Save the Knoll committee on Monday declared victory in their opposition of the further building on Ohlone burial site.
After a three month struggle to get KB Homes from further developing the site, all sides agreed not to build over the Ohlone burial site. The remains of two Ohlone Indians were discovered mid-summer.
Since then opposition by the Save the Knoll intensified. Numerous protests were held.
On Monday, a closed meeting was held at the Santa Cruz City Hall. In attendance were Ohlone elders, KB Homes representatives and city officials.
“I am ecstatic,”
said Ann-Marie Sayers, an Ohlone descendant, who led the negotiations for the Save the Knoll committee with KB Home and city officials.
"Just the fact that KB Home honored the request of the original people whose land they are building on, it is so long overdue for developers to honor sacred sites. I truly believe they did the right thing."
As the result of Monday's negotiations, KB Home has agreed to establish a permanent cultural easement on about three acres. The two human remains uncovered this summer will be reinterred within the confines of the cultural easement.
This agreement precludes KB Home to build a 2,200 square foot house and driveway that were planned to go there.
Later this week, KB Home has agreed to walk the property with Ohlone elders to determine further develop a plan on where it is appropriate to build homes.
KB Home also agreed that traditional ceremonies can be held with coordination of yet to be established homeowners association of the sub-division.
Drumming for Ancestors Outside of Santa Cruz City Hall
Outside of city hall some 75 demonstrators rallied for the success of the Ohlone elders. Among the demonstrators were American Indians and non-Indians. Drumming was part of the demonstration outside of city hall.
"Vice Mayor Don Lee deserves a lot of the credit for what happened," stated Chris Lee, a spoke person for the Save the Knoll committee. "He really felt the requests of the elders should be honored."
posted September 20, 2011 7:59 am edt
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