Andrew Goff / Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017 @ 10:52 a.m. / Our Culture
Local Native American Group Pens Scathing Letter to Rob Arkley
- (AUDIO) Rob Arkley Wants to Buy Indian Island to Keep Eureka From Returning it to ‘The Natives’
- Arkleys Clarify Indian Island Intentions, Say They Want to Buy It to ‘Preserve It for the Entire Community’
- Yurok Group Issues Statement Responding to Arkleys’ Indian Island Comments
The following open letter was posted by members of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples in a response to Eureka businessman Rob Arkley’s interview no KINS in which he discussed his intentions to purchase Indian Island in an attempt to block the City of Eureka from returning it the Wiyot Tribe:
Open letter in response to Rob Arkley’s attempted block of spiritual justice,
Yes, it is “astonishing and flabbergasting” that the City of Eureka is now considering returning Indian Island - Tuluwat to the Wiyot Tribal Nation because that action is long overdue. There, we said it – The City of Eureka is rightfully deliberating on this matter, at this time, finally in 2017. In fact, we congratulate them and thank the city for its forward thinking and respectful engagement on this matter. We encourage the City of Eureka to stand firmly and with resolve to their commitment to the Wiyot Tribe and the future generations yet to come. Perhaps such a deliberation is taking place because in its very heart, the good people on the Eureka City Council know that this land, and far more, is owed back into the possession of the rightful sovereign nation, the Wiyot.
Of course we do not need to remind anyone that it was the everyday citizens of Eureka, fueled by racism and consumptive greed, that led to not just one, but multiple brutal massacres, butcherings, mass enslavements and the trafficking of the Indigenous Peoples’ of this region in the mid and late 1800’s. The results of this wrongful taking are the captivity of Native homelands, devastation of cultures, and the continued oppression of the Peoples well until today. This has allowed the amassing of fortunes and benefits from blood-soaked stolen lands and exploited resources.
Your ineloquent remarks, Rob, on the Northcoast’s KINS Talkshop radio program this past Monday morning, July 31, 2017, were astonishing. In our opinion, these revealed greed, disrespect, and a denigrating mentality toward Native Peoples. Perhaps for some who know you, such a tone was not a surprise. However, true leaders reveal themselves in their actions and behavior, and your demeanor and expressed intent on that program are not that of any kind of leader who would benefit the diverse peoples and needs of this area. How sad that your world is so small that you believe yourself superior to anyone else. We imagine this is due to your privileged status rather than any actual strength or intellectual power.
Tuluwat - Indian Island is not your asset Rob. It does not belong to you or your family for your personal pleasure or financial gain. You can’t put it in your pocket and walk off. We doubt you have any sincere concern for a heron rookery on sacred land stolen from a brutalized People and that now needs to be returned. Keeping it out of Native possession and relationship is what is morally indefensible. And it’s that simple.
We echo the recent communication from the Tsurai Ancestral Society and join them and others who stand in solidarity with the Wiyot Tribe and the City of Eureka in their transferring of that sacred land back into the safekeeping of the Wiyot Tribe. We call to action every person and organization of conscience to join in this stand. The return of this land can support the Wiyot Peoples’ distinct cosmology which is centered here, which is their homeland, in a way that can renew and flourish all life. We recognize and respect that such a return can help nurture the vitality of the Wiyot People and facilitate collective healing for the entire region. This is a sacred birthright of the generations to come.
Chris Peters, President & Tia Oros Peters, Executive Director
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
cc: The Honorable Ted Hernandez, Chair, Wiyot Tribal Nation