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In historic acquisition, Wiyot reclaim coastal Mouralherwaqh

From Cal Poly Humboldt Now, August 19, 2022

“In July of [2022], though a historic acquisition, the Wiyot Tribe gained back tribal stewardship of a 46-acre coastal property in the ecologically and culturally significant Wiyot place of Mouralherwaqh or ‘wolf’s house.’

“The acquisition project was conceived of and led by the Wiyot Tribe with supporting partnerships from Cal Poly Humboldt, Humboldt Baykeeper, and Friends of the Dunes. It was made possible through a $1.2 million grant from the state Ocean Protection Council (OPC) through its Proposition 1 Grant Program.

“Due to the legacy of settler-colonialism and land theft, the Wiyot Tribe currently owns less than 1 percent of their ancestral lands. This ground-breaking project increases the Tribe’s land holdings by 10 percent.

“Of the acquisition, Ted Hernandez, the Wiyot Tribal Chair said, ‘This is another big historical moment for the Tribe and I am proud that the Wiyots are leading the way. […] You look at the property and say – my ancestors, they made their arrowheads here, they cooked their acorns here […] It’s like you’re in your own world, in your own peace […].’

“The acquisition will increase the Tribe’s resiliency in the face of sea-level rise (SLR), providing the Tribe with higher elevation gathering lands not at risk of inundation and the opportunity to develop nature-based SLR resilience measures on the lower portions.

“The Ocean Protection Council (OPC), a cabinet-level state policy body nested within the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), awarded Proposition 1 funds to this project through a targeted coastal environmental justice solicitation.”

Read the full article (~3 min.)

For more information, read the Wiyot Tribe’s press release.

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