Sogorea Te Reunion Gathering: 1pm on Sunday, April 14th

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Hello Friends and Warriors,

We are hoping that you all can come and celebrate our 2nd reunion at Sogorea Te on Sunday, April 14th. This is the date, two years ago, when we decided to take a stand, started the sacred fire and occupied the land for 109 days for the preservation and protection of the ancestors. While we were protecting the ancestors, they did the same for us and we were able to transform ourselves and dream a community into existence.

Meet 1:00pm at Sogorea Te. This is a potluck. Please bring your own plates, cups, utensils and food to share. We would like to talk with one another, catch up and remember the fallen warriors.

Bring your clappers and hand drums, laughter and stories… See you all soon.

-Corrina Gould

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Alert: No Celebration for Desecration – Saturday, June 16th

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On Saturday June 16th, GVRD and the City of Vallejo are
holding a grand opening of their newly desecrated park. GVRD’s flyer states that at the “Dedication Ceremony,” there will be speakers from government agencies and organizations that have “participated in the development of this unique park.”

We are asking all of our supporters to come out in force to remind them that we are still watching and that we do not agree with their plans to celebrate destruction and to use these sacred grounds as a recreational park. The Dedication Ceremony will take place between 11am and noon, but we will be arriving early at 10am. We are asking supporters the following:

  • Everyone wear BLACK t-shirts
  • All signage should say No Celebration for Desecration, no other messages please.
  • Mexica Dancers will be with us, but we are also looking for others that would like to offer prayer/songs or spoken word.
  • Please bring your own eating utensils, cups, bowls and water bottles and food to share.
  • Please help us in packing out everything we pack in.
  • We are looking for monetary donations. Please support us in assisting those traveling long distances by making a donation online or in cash on the day of.
  • Meet at 10am. Look for security to direct you where we will be gathering.

We look forward to seeing many of our relatives and friends. Hope to see you there.

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An update for supporters and friends of Sogorea Te

by Corrina Gould

Dear Warriors, Supporters and Friends of Sogorea Te,

I want to begin by thanking each one of you for your support in protecting and preserving Sogorea Te (Glen Cove), a sacred site that has been in what is now Vallejo, CA for over 3500 years. During our occupation of the land from April through July of last year, many of you were instrumental in putting aside your lives, giving of yourselves unselfishly, and participating in creating a living community. This community allowed us all to not only protect a sacred site, but also to see what is possible for humans when they come together and rely on one another, centered around a basis of spirituality and belief in one another.

Each time someone walked onto that land and paid respects to the fire, it strengthened the community as a whole. The miracle was not in just protecting the site, but in protecting each other and allowing the space to include almost anyone who came with a good heart and good intentions. Over the months that we lived together, we endured weather hardships, boredom, laughter, tears, celebrations, and disappointments. We created bonds that will stay with us forever; sometimes with people we would have never imagined being in our lives before Sogorea Te.
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Sacred Sites Peacewalk for a Nuclear Free World:
Diablo Canyon to Sogorea Te

October 22 – November 6, 2011
Diablo Canyon to Sogorea Te/Glen Cove, Vallejo, California

Join a two-week interfaith peace walk from the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo to the Bay Area. With the tragedy of Fukushima in our hearts, we will walk 15-18 miles a day looking into the safety of land and people along our route, the still-present danger of nuclear weapons, the poisonous nuclear fuel cycle and how to end the nuclear nightmare in California and worldwide.

The Diablo Canyon plant defiled a site sacred to the Chumash people, and native lands still bear the brunt of toxic mining and waste disposal that mark the nuclear industry. Accordingly, the walk ends at an indigenous sacred site of true power, consecrated by years of struggle to protect it from development.

We expect participation of Native elders and activists, Buddhist monks, Japanese people affected by Fukushima, and citizens who have worked for decades to expose nuclear danger and find alternatives to nuclear power. We will learn from each other and from communities along the way. Everyone is welcome to join for an hour, a day or a week. No alcohol, drugs, or weapons.

We need help with lodging, food, organizing local community events, modest expenses, media/communications, and shuttle-transport.

For updates, walk schedule and contact details:
http://CAnuclearwalk.com/
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Day 104: Closing ceremony set for Saturday, Yocha Dehe representative visits

Announcement: A final closing ceremony for the prayer vigil and
encampment at Sogorea Te will be held on Saturday, July 30th, starting at noon. During the ceremony, long-term participants and warriors will be honored and the sacred fire that has been continuously tended for over 100 days and nights will be allowed to burn out.

Bring chairs to sit in and food to share. We’ll be asking volunteers to take trash out with them as they leave. Also, on Sunday the 31st, we will work together to pack everything up and to thoroughly clean and restore the grounds. Extra hands will be very much appreciated.

On Monday the 25th, a representative of Yocha Dehe visited Sogorea Te and walked the grounds with Protect Glen Cove Committee members, who pointed out all the specific areas of cultural concern. He brought with him a letter from Marshall McKay, the Chairman of Yocha Dehe. A personal note from McKay accompanying the letter stated that Continue reading

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Day 99 update: Yocha Dehe chairman speaks, City Council finalizes cultural easement

This evening, Vallejo City Council unanimously voted to finalize a Cultural
Easement and Settlement Agreement
with the Cortina and Yocha Dehe tribes, granting them legal rights to oversee and protect the sacred grounds at Glen Cove. Charlie Wright of the Cortina Band of Wintun Indians and Marshall McKay of Yocha Dehe attended the council meeting, as did approximately 35 people from the prayer vigil at Sogorea Te.

Marshall McKay addressed the Council during the public meeting, asking them to finalize the agreement. During his speech he kindly addressed the long term resistance to the City and GVRD’s plans at Glen Cove, stating that “the resistance is born from a deep and abiding protective spirit.” A transcript of McKay’s full statement can be found below.

In the evening following the City Council meeting, a circle was held at Sogorea Te for thoughts and reflections to be shared. Continue reading

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Press Release: A Victory for Protection of Sogorea Te

Announcement: A closing ceremony for the spiritual encampment will
be held at Sogorea Te on Saturday, July 30th. Details TBA.

Press Release: After 98 days and nights of a continuous prayer vigil, the
Committee to Protect Glen Cove is pleased to announce a victory in the struggle to protect the sacred grounds of Sogorea Te/Glen Cove.

Yesterday, the Yocha Dehe and Cortina tribes established a cultural easement and settlement agreement with the City of Vallejo and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD). The agreement sets a legal precedent for granting Native peoples jurisdiction over their sacred sites and ancestral lands. Continue reading

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Day 97 update + photos

Week 14: Following last week’s large demonstrations at City Hall and
GVRD Headquarters, dozens of committed warriors, elders and supporters have remained in prayer on the land at Sogorea Te, tending the sacred fire and upholding their commitments to seeing the struggle through. As day 100 of the 24-hour prayer vigil approaches, everyone eagerly awaits news regarding the cultural easement being negotiated between the City, GVRD, and the Cortina/Yocha Dehe tribes. We pray that it will be an honorable agreement that will protect the ancestors by specifically preventing development and bulldozing on all 15 acres of the sacred grounds.

Each day, new visitors arrive at Sogorea Te, bringing prayers, gifts and inspiration, while longer-term participants in the vigil continue to develop relationships with the land, its plant and animal life, and each other. Some have continued to gather wild native plants from the area, such as Amole Lilies and California Mugwort, for use as food and medicine.
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A show of strength at Vallejo City Hall – Report, videos & transcripts from July 12th

On July 12th, over 100 people converged on the
steps of Vallejo City Hall to bring a strong and clear message to City Council, which was holding closed session meeting regarding the future of the sacred burial ground known as Sogorea Te (Glen Cove). Demonstrators arrived an hour before the scheduled meeting, gathering together around the drum to sing before entering the council chambers.

Colorful signs carried messages such as “No bulldozing on sacred ground” and “Protect all 15 acres”, referring to the cultural easement that is currently being negotiated by the city, GVRD, and two federally recognized Patwin tribes that the city has chosen to acknowledge as stakeholders. The details of this draft cultural easement have not been revealed to the public or to the Ohlone and Miwok-led Committee to Protect Glen Cove. Speakers throughout the evening encouraged the city to ratify the easement, with the qualification that in order to meaningfully protect the burial grounds, any agreement must encompass all 15 acres and prohibit bulldozing and development.
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Week 12 update: Still Strong

Monique Sonoquie (Chumash/Apache)

Day 83 on the land: Now in its 12th week, the prayerful
re-occupation of Sogorea Te continues with spirited determination. Every long, sweltering Summer day, dozens of Native people and their supporters re-affirm a commitment to honoring the ancestors and being active caretakers of the land.

Over the past week, hundreds of visitors of all ages and walks of life have continued to visit the sacred grounds of Glen Cove, bringing gifts, sharing kind words, and offering their prayers to the fire. While prayer remains the center of all our efforts, work is always continuing in the realms of public outreach and legal strategy. This is a critical time in the struggle to protect Glen Cove, and we are asking our central California supporters to attend the Vallejo City Council meeting taking place this Tuesday, the 12th.

On June 30th, Monique Sonoquie (Chumash/Apache) drove down with Richard Meyers (Yurok) from the Hoopa reservation in Northern California, bringing food, firewood, words of support, and a Continue reading

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Corrina Gould & Wounded Knee DeOcampo speak in Vallejo: Transcripts + Audio

Wounded Knee DeOcampo

On Wednesday, June 22nd, a speaking and film screening event
entitled “Protecting Glen Cove” was held at the Vallejo Naval & Maritime Museum in downtown Vallejo. Many Vallejo residents were in attendance, including residents of the Glen Cove neighborhood. Young Ohlone, Pit River and Mexica singers from the ongoing prayer vigil at Sogorea Te opened and closed the evening with songs accompanied by clappers and a hand drum. Continue reading

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An open letter regarding recent misunderstandings

The following Open Letter is from the Committee to Protect Glen Cove,
addressing recent misunderstandings and statements released by Cortina and Yocha Dehe:

The Committee to Protect Glen Cove would like to lend our support to the cultural easement proposal set forth by the Cortina and Yocha Dehe tribes.

After twelve years of dedicated struggle towards preventing the desecration of this 15-acres of sacred land, the local Native peoples involved applaud the decision by these two tribes to step up and join in its preservation.

We want to dispel several misunderstandings that have been circulated. First, this is not an inter-tribal conflict. We wish to work together as California Native peoples to do what is necessary to protect this sacred site – in this case, by supporting the cultural easement that the two federally recognized tribes have chosen to pursue. Continue reading

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Day 71 update + photos: 500 mile runners arrive at Sogorea Te

Runners on Glen Cove Road, with Wounded Knee DeOcampo and John Malloy in the lead

On Thursday evening, more than 60 runners
ranging in age from 4 to 84 years arrived at Sogorea Te, as the final destination of the 33rd annual 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon. The marathon had begun with ceremonies on June 19th (Sunday) in Pit River territory. On Thursday morning, the runners departed from Clear Lake, bound for Vallejo, CA.

Arriving at Sogorea Te

A dozen participants in the prayer vigil at Sogorea Te joined the runners for the final leg of the marathon, which was led by Wounded Knee DeOcampo (Miwok), one of the original 1978 500-mile runners. As the procession of runners swiftly approached Sogorea Te, two long lines of supporters welcomed them, creating a tunnel with their arms that they passed through before circling around the sacred fire and placing prayer offerings upon it.   Continue reading

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Day 67 update – Spiritual Marathon Departs from Pit River

Today marks 67 days of prayer and continuous
tending of the ceremonial fire at Sogorea Te. While meetings and strategy discussions are held in the background, dozens of committed native and non-native people remain present on the land in prayer. A steady stream of supportive visitors continues to pass through daily with donations and words of encouragement. Some stay longer, to share songs and stories, teach skills, help out with chores, cook a meal for the group, or offer prayers.

Early this morning, the 33rd annual 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon departed from Pit River Territory in Northern California. The runners are scheduled to arrive at Sogorea Te (Glen Cove) in Vallejo on June 23rd, as their final destination, after passing through the Mount Shasta area, along the Sacramento River and the shores of Clear Lake. The marathon’s main purpose is “to carry the message of the sacredness of all life, our relationship to all living species, and of the need to maintain the delicate balance that exists between humankind and our Mother Earth.”

This weekend, participants in the ongoing vigil at Glen Cove attended many public events in the Bay Area, the Los Angeles area, and in Northern California, speaking and distributing flyers about the ongoing struggle to protect Sogorea Te and many other sacred places and burial grounds in the Bay Area and beyond. Continue reading

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Day 59 update – 250 attend Spiritual Gathering at Sogorea Te

Today at Sogorea Te, more than 250 people of
many nations, races and creeds attended a Spiritual Gathering in the bright afternoon sun. Representatives of many California tribes were present, including the Cachil Dehe/Colusa Band of Wintu, Elem Pomo, Grindstone Wintu/Wailaki, Northern Chumash, Chemehuevi, Tuolumne Me-wuk, Pit River, Maidu, Mono, Karkin Ohlone and Rumsen Ohlone.

Food and supply donations flooded the camp kitchen today, including trays of hot Indian food from a local restaurant, large boxes of produce from the South Central Farmers and six boxes of supplies brought by the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Indian Movement.

Spirits were high, and speakers throughout the day affirmed an unwavering commitment to protecting sacred places and carrying forward traditional ways of life. Corrina Gould (Karkin/Chochenyo Ohlone) addressed the group, expressing gratefulness for all the sacrifices and contributions that have made these 59 days of continuous prayer and resistance possible.
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Winnemem Wintu hold Salmon ceremony at Glen Cove

On Saturday, June 4th, over a dozen members of
the Winnemem Wintu tribe held a ceremony for the Salmon at Sogorea Te (Glen Cove), and blessed the sacred grounds that Native people and their supporters have been standing upon in prayer for 52 days and nights. Over 100 people participated in the ceremony, held on a bluff overlooking the waters of the Carquinez Strait.

The Shasta Dam: A weapon of mass destruction

The homeland of the Winnemem Wintu is centered around the McCloud River in Northern California, which for thousands of years was one of the most fertile salmon spawning rivers in the West. In the 1940s, construction of the Shasta Dam resulted in the flooding of Winnemem villages and sacred places, and effectively wiped out the McCloud Salmon by blocking their upriver passage. The Winnemem are currently battling a proposal to further raise the Shasta Dam, and are working passionately to restore their ancestral relationship with Nur, the Salmon.
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Bay Trail and Association of Bay Area Governments Suspends $200,000 Grant to GVRD

Bay Trail: divested! – View ABAG Press Release

$200,000 Grant for Glen Cove
Development Suspended Due to Impact on Native American Burial Site

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vallejo, California – In the 56th day of their Spiritual Vigil, Native Americans working to stop destruction and desecration of the sacred burial ground at Glen Cove in Vallejo welcomed the decision by the San Francisco Bay Trail Project of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to suspend its $200,000 grant to the Greater Vallejo Recreation District. The statement from ABAG and their Bay Trail Project states: “The issue of concern is that the proposed half mile Bay Trail segment on the Glen Cove property in Vallejo is part of a larger GVRD development that affects sensitive Native American burial sites.” ABAG’s statement says that the grant is being suspended until cultural land use issues are resolved.
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Day 51 update + photos – Staying active in the downpour

All day long, torrential rains flooded the spiritual
encampment at Glen Cove. Participants tended to the sacred fire and scrambled to secure tents and shade structures that were taking flight on exceptionally strong winds.

Visitors in this morning’s rainy mist included local wildlife biologist and ethnobiologist James “Doc” Hale, along with Joel G. Greger, a geotechnical and environmental consultant who lives across the Carquinez Strait in the small town of Crockett.   Continue reading

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