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California Senate Appropriations Committee: respect Native voices!

While we support raising the level of protection and respect afforded Native American Tribes in California, AB 52, as it currently stands, would re-define the term “Native American Tribe” and would in fact limit and restrict this definition in a manner previously unwitnessed in this state.

We object to this or any legislative attempts to redefine or
limit the definition of the term “Native American Tribe” in any manner that excludes un-recognized Tribal Nations in California.

Excluding un-recognized Tribes in this way is not only an affront to tribal sovereignty it also virtually guarantees that the sacred places and cultural resources of un-recognized Tribal Nations in California will be destroyed at an unprecedented rate in the future. The challenges facing all Tribes, but in particular un-recognized Tribes in California, in terms of resources available to support cultural protection work and keep up with pending proposals likely to impact tribal cultural resources are substantial.

Further dis-empowering un-recognized Tribes in this manner will make the already difficult task of protecting cultural resources almost insurmountable for un-recognized Tribes. Given the unique history of all California Indians, regardless of status as recognized or un-recognized, it is imperative that any attempt at legislative redress included all Tribes in California who are the descendants
of the survivors of state and federally funded genocidal policies against California’s first people in the 1800s, not just those descendants who happen to be members of federally recognized Tribes.

To create new legislation that directly conflicts with the well-established rule of inclusion for un-recognized Tribes in California state cultural resource protection law is neither in the best interest of, nor respectful of, Indigenous sacred places and cultural resources in California.

Signed,

Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples

This petition closed 10 months ago

How this will help

Currently, AB 52 would define "Native American Tribe" in a way that excludes over 70 Tribal Nations in the state. 

Specifically, the bill would define "Native American Tribe" to mean "a federally...

Currently, AB 52 would define "Native American Tribe" in a way that excludes over 70 Tribal Nations in the state. 

Specifically, the bill would define "Native American Tribe" to mean "a federally recognized Indian tribe located in California".

AB 52, a proposed bill in the California State Legislature that will greatly affect Native American people in California. This is a threat to our government-to government status with the State and other institutions within California; specifically CRM (Cultural Resource Management) consultation and other areas which recognize our status as the original people of California.

AB 52 is an attack on all California tribal peoples.

From Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk:
"All tribes on the BIA List or not, should have every equal right to stand up, speak up and defend our sacred places. AB 52, the proposed CEQA amendment would re-define the term Native American Tribe to exclude unrecognized Tribes in California and place the burden of proof on the tribes. The Winnemem Wintu will be harshly damaged in defending our sacred places on the McCloud River in the way of the Shasta Dam raise."

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