Press release from the Tsurai Ancestral Society:
The Tsurai Ancestral Society is deeply saddened by the recent statements made by Mr. Arkley regarding the Tuluwat (Indian Island) land transfer. Mr. Arkley’s attitude toward the Wiyot Tribe and their killing at the hands of what one news article from that time called “prominent business men from Eureka” is appalling.
While Mr. Arkley may feel the island belongs to him and his children, because, as he stated, they “like it,” it was stolen from the Wiyot in a horrific, murderous rampage. We, as a community, should be supporting the healing of those historical wounds and trying to support the local tribes in their attempt to continue with their cultural [restoration].
The Tsurai Ancestral Society, an organization made up of Yurok people from the Tsurai village, would like to stand in solidarity with the Wiyot Tribe and City of Eureka in their work toward transferring the land back to the Wiyot Tribe. It is our hope that Mr. Arkley’s newfound interest in the island does not derail the current transfer project. We encourage the City of Eureka to hold strong to their commitment to the Wiyot Tribe.
We empathize with the Wiyot Tribe and their desire to reclaim a piece of their cultural landscape. We, and the Yurok Tribe, are in a similar position with some of our village in Trinidad. Although, the City of Trinidad has not shown the level commitment the City of Eureka has, we have never given up the struggle to see our land given back.
We understand having someone like Mr. Arkley get involved in transfer attempts and try to block it, as we have experienced a similar situation with some citizens, and organizations in Trinidad. It’s disheartening when people step forward and try to prevent historical wrongs from being righted.
It is our hope the City of Eureka and Wiyot Tribe hold strong in their efforts to transfer Tuluwat (Indian Island) back to the Wiyot Tribe.
The Tsurai Ancestral Society