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Resighini Tribe and California State Parks Sign Historic Agreement

By Gracia Hernandez Rovelo

California State Parks and the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People have signed a historic agreement to protect the natural and cultural resources in State parks within the Tribe’s traditional territory.

The agreement was signed at the Resighini Tribal headquarters, located in Klamath, California on Feb.14. It outlines the mutual responsibilities of State parks and the Resighini Tribe to promote successful cooperation, co-management, and collaboration. 

The agreement includes incorporating indigenous traditional knowledge to better protect and preserve state parks. It ensures that consultation and meaningful dialogue takes place sufficiently in advance of final decision-making on matters affecting cultural and natural resource management.

“Tribes have an inherent responsibility to steward and co-manage important cultural and natural resources in our ancestral territories,” said Fawn C. Murphy, Chairperson of the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People.”This memo of understanding (MOU) establishes a path to revitalizing Indigenous knowledge, supporting access to traditional cultural resources, and putting us back in the places we’ve been removed from for far too long.”

The Resighini Rancheria is a federally recognized tribe of Yurok people in California. In 1998, the Rancheria’s General Council voted to rename the Tribal government to Reghini Rancheria. In the years before and after, in 1997 and 2017, the Rancheria experienced flooding that significantly affected Tribal buildings. Throughout the 2000s, the Tribe acquired additional nearby parcels, increasing the Tribally owned lands to over 450 acres. The Tribe remains committed to enhancing its capacity to meet the needs of Tribal Citizens and to govern effectively within its territory.

The Resighini Tribe of Yurok People, along with two other North Coast Tribes, officially established the first Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area (IMSA) in the United States, known as the Yurok-Tolowa Dee-ni’ Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area. 

The agreement also involves State Parks collaborating with the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People to raise public awareness about the IMSA’s cultural and environmental significance. Additionally, it contributes to California’s goal of protecting 30 percent of its lands and waters by 2030 (30×30).

Armando Quintero, Director of California’s State Parks, commented, “Our commitment to working with each other is a commitment to the healthy future of the natural and cultural resources in the state state parks which are in the Resighini Tribe’s territory.”

This agreement represents the eleventh MOU between State Parks and a California Native American tribe. The first one was signed on April 13, 2017. 

This information is provided courtesy of the California State Parks press release.


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