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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections | Racial Justice
Please sign to support Indigenous consultation at East Bay Regional Park District
This is about a petition being circulated to support indigenous voices in the East Bay Regional Park District
Please take a moment to sign the petition at https://www.change.org/petitions/east-bay-regional-park-district-adopt-a-best-practices-consultation-policy-with-local-native-peoples-2 and circulate widely via Facebook/email. The petition supports the protection of Indigenous peoples’ sovereign rights and land in the California Bay Area by demanding that the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) finally develop a respectful consultation policy. For more information about the continued issues with EBRPD’s lack of respect for the needs of local Native peoples, please see: https://vimeo.com/43092751. The District is planning to finalize its new Master Plan by mid-July and must be encouraged to make the appropriate and long overdue changes to its policies prior to the plan’s adoption.
As constituents of the counties in which the East Bay Regional Park District operates, we strongly urge the district to adopt a best practices consultation policy with local Native peoples in its Master Plan prior to the plan’s final adoption. This policy should be based upon the guidelines defined in California State Law 18 (SB18), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the federal Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). We ask that each and every district board member familiarize her/himself with the above stated laws, starting with the California State Office of Planning and Research’s interpretive guide to SB18 found at http://opr.ca.gov/docs/09_14_05_Updated_Guidelines_922.pdf, which describes in detail what is meant by a meaningful consultation process. That the district has thus far been remiss in adopting any viable consultation procedures is not only profoundly disrespectful to the original and still present inhabitants of this land, but also against the law.
We also ask that the district create positions within its planning department for local tribal peoples to address the protection of their cultural resources and sacred areas. The district administers more than 100,000 acres of land in Alameda and Contra Costa counties and has hundreds of full and part-time employees, but not a single staff member is from a local Native tribe.