THE DEBACLE AT GLEN COVE AND THE INJUSTICE DONE TO A SACRED BURIAL GROUND (04/15/13)
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that what I saw and witnessed; first hand as to what the Vallejo, Recreation and Park has done to the once sacred terrain and the desecration of the ground; in and around Glen Cove is not at all becoming.
More; according to the Native American Graves Protection Act (NAGPRA) that the government of the United States proclaims as law but fails to endorse and more to adjudicated in a fair and just - manner.
The site at Glen Cove has been traced to human remains going back to 3500 years ö the Native Americans of this land; I called them the First People.
And as many of us who participate in the Shell Mound Walks know - should be protected. The Sacred remains of our ancestors. All we can do; if we really care is respect our elders and those that have gone to the other side. Respect comes with spirituality; and this is not always the case with - "stranger".
To be very clear on the question of desecration - it means the remains must not be disturbed; and in this case at Glen Cove it was. The main reason - those that came to whatever understanding they came to; and I am referring to the "strangers" - is that fundamentally what they know and see is abject greed. Greed of the worst order - despicable to say the least ö and despised by those that value respect for our elders, life in general, our children and women. And of course when those die and to the Great Spirit - that respect that comes with it.
Again and again the "strangers" will quote the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) - other mundane rules and regulations. In each and every case they will NOT mention - "spirituality" and fail again and again to respect the land and those values; indigenous people hold - sacred from time immemorial.
When; I visited the site on April 14, 2013 - as some memorial reunion for those of us who protested for months. What I saw was not pleased to the eye and my heart felt very heavy.
I thought very clearly that we had stated our position before the Vallejo, Recreation and Park - that the Glen Cove site should not be desecrated. As a matter of fact; the Vallejo, Recreation and Park - with intent did just that - it was a slap on our faces. We must never, ever forget that.
Again; proving to the world that the "stranger" - cannot be trusted; and that we as indigenous people must be united as did the 41 plus Native American Tribes and entities who stated clearly in the endorsement and signed petitions and resolutions - that Glen Cove should not be desecrated - documentation that was made available to the authorities, concerned.
I have worked with the members of the Vallejo Inter-Tribal Council - and somewhere along the line - I noticed the decision making was been done by some outsiders - some Tribe with compact right - meaning have access to money, casino tainted money - away from the inner circle; the I had put my trust in.
Towards the end; a few months before the inner circle was given notice of some Memoranda of Understanding; agreed upon by some that I know not of - I attended one singular meeting before the Vallejo, Recreation and Park - and someone told me and persuaded me; not to speak during public comment.
Anyone who knows me - knows that such requests dictated to me in a rude and dictatorial manner - does not sit well with me. After all I had come all the way from San Francisco - and since then have been leery of some that I trusted, before.
All the same; at this singular meeting - I spoke on this issue; about the remains of our ancestors and the right to do justice; where justice was due. I told the Vallejo, Recreation and Park members that the Sacred Burial Grounds must be fully - respected. In fact I was bold to state that no one had any authority to disturb the remains of the ancestors.
I understand the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and I understand the Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) - and so I could speak with some authority. But, I saw with the Vallejo, Recreation and Park - some deal had been made. Not many people spoke after I spoke and this gave me great cause to doubt that something was wayward.
Even though the empirical data clearly states that the carbon readings reveal the remains of the ancestors to be in place for over 3500 years at Glen Cove. Over the years the strangers have used the grounds for all sorts of nefarious activities. In one house built near the ground bootlegging and prostitution.
Some of us who are in the know - the deeper we got into the various issues - the deep it affected us. The protests took a toll on many of us - and I did all in my power - talking to some powerful people not to harm the protestors.
More, I wrote many articles some of which were reprinted and posted on many blogs, newspapers, and many called me and I explained to them the issues at hand. I have good friends linked to the Movement and the Protesters at Glen Cove - one of them Wounded Knee and others; Morning Star and Mark Anquoe - who know where I come from.
I will NOT compromise, never ever - when it comes to the remains of the First People - and in this case the "sacred remains" - of those ancestors that lay buried and whose spirit - must be respected, at all times - were desecrated.
I am not about to debate or argue on this fundamental understanding that has spurred me to fight for the indigenous people for over 50 years.
I saved a Sacred Shell Mound at Crissy Field. The Golden Gate National Recreation decided to do some grading and horizontal construction at Crissy Field. They were told about the remains, took the risk and found some remains and halted the project.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is linked with the Department of Interior and this was a serious blow to them. Always pretending to know and this time - they were exposed for all the world to see.
The Department of Interior plays a key role - on all matters linked to Federal Recognition of Native American tribes and many other pertinent laws governing the First People; the Native Americans.
The many Sacred Walks conducted - from Shell Mound to Shell Mound all over the Bay Area; by those that care; respect the Sacred Sites are areas sacrosanct - and those that participate are close in spirit and in other ways - we keep in touch - I surely, do.
This fight to change the mentality of the "stranger" and to bring about a holistic change and understanding linked to the remains of our ancestors - is critical to all indigenous people.
For sure the "strangers" cannot and will defend what is Sacred to us who know better. We cannot hope against hope through some osmosis to bring these folks - around to this important issue; unless they are spiritually, touched. The strangers are one of a kind.
We have seen the "strangers" again and again; make a mockery of our ancestors and their remains. 13,000 remains of our ancestors lie in some gym at Berkeley, University of California. We all know close to home an entire large Shell Mound was destroyed at Emeryville, California. A shopping center built over this unique Shell Mound.
I personally know of hundreds of Sacred Shell Mounds that have been desecrated - complete with maps and the dates when the developers did what they did - and no one can touch them - because of theses evil, deed; so they think.
At Hunters Point Naval Shipyard there were two hills and on them several sites containing Sacred remain of our ancestors - the United States Navy destroyed the Sacred Shell Mound and with the dirt, the remains were used as in fill. 90% of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in infill - and the United States Navy has not surveyed the area ö even though there are Federal Mandates; mandating them to do so.
"No good will ever come at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard". "Even as those who disturbed the Sacred remains at Glen Cove - will meet with the same fate". Aho.
Here are some photographs of my recent visit to Glen Cove:
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