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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Racial Justice
Bay Trail and Association of Bay Area Governments Suspends $200,000 Grant to GVRD
Bay Trail and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) announced in a press release that they have suspended their $200,000 grant to the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) for the park development project at Glen Cove, a sacred Native American burial ground in Vallejo. This commendable action by the Bay Trail organization was a direct result of mounting pressure from their members and constituents, which included a picket and demand delivery at Bay Trail's offices in downtown Oakland on May 31st.
$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.
“We are pleased that the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Trail Project have listened to the voices of the Indigenous people and supporters and have made the decision to reconsider funding of the joint project that they had planned with GVRD at Glen Cove/Sogorea Te. We would like to thank them for their support in the protection of our Sacred site,” said Corrina Gould, an Ohlone tribal member and leader of the ongoing efforts to protect the Glen Cove sacred site. “We hope this loss of major funding for GVRD will encourage all the parties involved in this issue to sit down and reach a mutually acceptable solution that protects the burial and cremation sites from destruction.”
Bay Trail’s decision to suspend funding of the Glen Cove Project follows mounting pressure from their constituents to address their involvement in the controversial plans to develop a recreational park on a sacred burial ground and spiritually important area. Supporters of the effort to protect the sacred site picketed the offices of Bay Trail on Tuesday May 31st, challenging their role in the planned development and urging them to immediately divest all funding.
Following a meeting between the Native American-led Protect Glen Cove Committee and representatives of Bay Trail and ABAG, last Thursday, the decision to suspend the $200,000 grant comes at a crucial time. This significant loss of funding and political support for the controversial Glen Cove project leaves its future uncertain, placing even more pressure on GVRD regarding their plans to bulldoze a hill that likely contains human remains and to build toilets and a parking lot at the sacred site.
Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes and the Protect Glen Cove Committee, backed by supporters from all walks of life, have vowed to continue the spiritual ceremony at Glen Cove until an agreement is reached that will protect the sacred site and human remains. The historical and cultural value of the site has never been disputed and it continues to be spiritually important to California tribes. Human remains have been consistently unearthed over the years as the area around the site has been developed. The Glen Cove Shell Mound spans fifteen acres along the Carquinez Strait. It is the final resting place of many Indigenous People dating back more than 3,500 years, and has served as a traditional meeting place for dozens of California Indian tribes. Glen Cove is located near the intersection of South Regatta and Whitesides Drive in Vallejo.
Press contacts for further comment:
For more information about ongoing efforts to protect Glen Cove (Sogorea Te) from further desecration, from the people directly involved:
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Press Release from the Association of Bay Area Governments: "San Francisco Bay Trail Project Suspends Funding for Bay Trail Segment in Vallejo"
On May 31, a picket and demand delivery took place at Bay Trail's offices in downtown Oakland. A report and photos from that action are here: Demonstrators demand that Bay Trail cut ties with Glen Cove development
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Original demand letter to Bay Trails from the Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group