Press Conference at Vallejo City Hall

Civil Rights Complaint alleges that GVRD & the City of Vallejo are violating civil rights of Native Americans by moving forward with plans that would desecrate the ancient Glen Cove burial site.

Delivered Wednesday, April 13th at 12 noon, in front of Vallejo City Hall.

Vallejo, CA – Faced with the possible imminent arrival of bulldozers at the Glen Cove ancient burial site, Native Americans will file an administrative civil rights complaint on April 13, 2011 with the State of California against the Greater Vallejo Recreation District and the City of Vallejo. A press conference will be held in front of Vallejo City Hall, 555 Santa Clara Street, on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at noon.

Sacred Site Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT) is filing the complaint under California Government Code § 11135 alleging that the City and GVRD are discriminating on the basis of race in threatening to destroy and desecrate significant parts of the Glen Cove Shellmound and burial site, for harming Native Americans’ religious and spiritual well-being, and effectively excluding Native Americans from their right to full participation in the decision-making regarding this project.

The Glen Cove Shell Mound is a well-documented and culturally significant site located in Vallejo, California, and spans an area of 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. The site continues to be spiritually important to California tribes. The Glen Cove site is acknowledged by GVRD and the City to have many burials and to be an important cultural site, yet they are moving forward as early as this week with plans to build a toilet and parking lot on this sacred site and to grade a hill that likely contains human remains and important cultural artifacts. Native Americans and their supporters have vowed to protest any effort that could desecrate the sacred burial site.

Native Americans are a class of people protected from unlawful discrimination in state-funded activities and programs. Intentional discrimination against minority populations is prohibited under Cal. Gov. Code § 11135(a). As recipients of state funding, GVRD and the City are subject to this law and cannot violate the civil rights of Native Americans.

In addition, SSP&RIT will announce more details about plans to protect Glen Cove from desecration.

“Everyone has the right to a final resting place. Our ancestors deserve to have a resting place on their original land without the threat of being removed for the sake of a park,” said Corrina Gould, Ohlone resident of the Bay Area. “Other countries realize the significance of ancestors and honor the ancient cemeteries by not disturbing them. Who does it ultimately serve to complete this project? Let our ancestors rest.”

Contact:
Wounded Knee (707) 373-7195
Corrina Gould (510) 575-8408
Bradley Angel (415) 722-5270

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2 Responses to Press Conference at Vallejo City Hall

  1. Stephanie Gardner says:

    My husband and I drove over to the area and both wondered why the need for a park right on that spot??? The state park is so close by and as long as we’ve lived in Vallejo and as many times as we’ve driven past the state park it always seems to be empty. So why not revamp that park?? it needs it!!! Why take 15 acres of Sacred land that means something to people, for the sake of what a small park?? and what happens if a park does get built and teens and whoever go there late at night to hang out and make a noise? then the neighbors get disturbed and do what complain and call the police? what happens if this is a park with an entrance where you pay to enter and people don’t want to pay the 3 to 5 bucks and just park out on the street or a block or two over and just walk in? No one wins then and it just over crowds the streets with more traffic which in turn gives the neighbors there more reason to gripe. So wouldn’t it be a benefit to them if the park wasn’t built??? It makes more sense to me to fix up an area of the state park that’s close by!! Save an otherwise large amount of money and spend a smaller amount and put a goodly sum of the money saved back into an already bankrupt city.. Maintain the streets, sidewalks, put in more street lights but dont spend a million or more to put in a park that will take away from people who have already lost so much due to a need for greed by others.. Leave the land ALONE!!!! Let the ancestors of those people rest in peace… Take the bulldozers down the road…….

  2. Clydene Cannon says:

    I am Welsh, Cherokee and German. My parents, both of Native American blood, lived in the Choctaw Nation with their Choctaw brothers and sisters of another tribe. So, as a product of this union, I live in two Worlds – that of the Anglos and that of the Native Americans. Both cultures are very valuable assets to me and both have bestowed many gifts upon me from my ancestors.

    In my Anglo World, I observe the civil laws of both the State and Federal Governments. Getting directly to the point, cemeteries (private and public) are protected by State and Federal Laws. Even cemeteries on private land must be preserved by all prospective owners of that land and must not be torn down, altered or desecrated. Even if these cemeteries were not protected by laws, I find few who would violate this unspoken moral value of protecting the last resting place of any human being. Some cemeteries have been lost to time or overgrown by flora or fauna but when they are discovered, they are mowed but, they are ALWAYS preserved to their natural state whether the graves are marked or not. This is the respect that White Peoples show to their ancestors. There is never a question of whether their remains should be protected by our civil society – NEVER!

    The same must be said of my Native American’s ancestors graves and burial sites whether their graves are marked or not. What civil society recommends building a park on top of human graves or to dig into, build on, pave over, level over or put plumbing in, etc. This is not civil and it’s amazing to me that the laws are not naturally assumed as equal for Native Americans. If they were, there would be no question about preservation of Glen Cove – burials and cultural mound village. Our county is named after Chief Solano and yet no one can tell you where he is buried because his grave was probably destroyed out of such lack of respect as we see with the Glen Cove site.

    Now, I ask this question. If the GVRD and the City of Vallejo wanted to build a park on the corner of Benicia Road where the All Souls Cemetery is, don’t you think there would be an uprising of every citizen in Vallejo? To think that they would be paving a path over those graves in that cemetery and building a toilet on top of them would be a mortal sin to say the least. This just would not be done.

    So, what’s the difference? The difference is that the City of Vallejo acquired the land at Glen Cove (15 acres), freely, from the last private owner; either through delinquent taxes or it was given to the City out of the private owner’s estate at the time of his death. How they acquired the land has never been divulged by the City. The Stremmel Family was the last private owners. The Old Stremmel Mansion that is built on top of the Native American Shell Mound and possible burials was rented out for some time but the City made no improvements to this mansion and it fell into disrepair and deteriorated to the point of where they could not rent it out – their usual poor management. Several outbuildings are also on the property. The caretaker live in one of the outbuildings. His name was Reagan and possible a relative of Michael Reagan, the Fairfield politician. Somethings not right with this whole picture. And now that the City of Vallejo is broke, they are pushing to put money into a park that will violate known Native American graves and a documented Native American Shell Mound Village that encompassed the entire 15 acres. Records also reveal that when the condos were built that are adjacent to this land, at least one burial was unearthed. There is no telling how large the village was but it is certain that the 15 acres in question positively has burials and mitten or a large shell mound within it. Then, at some point, later, the land was assigned to the GVRD for developing into a park.

    With all of the above said, this has gone way too far on the part of the City. This is insanity but from the past record of the Vallejo City Council and now the GVRD, there is no avenue left but for the courts to decide whether Native American Graves have the same civil rights that the rest of society has. We already know the answer to this question – of course they do! I guess the City of Vallejo will spend some more of our tax money trying to take civil rights away.

    The simple solution for everyone is:

    #1 – Remove the existing buildings without bulldozers. (Maybe let the fire department burn them and use it for a training session for firefighter.
    #2 – Mow, rake and remove any existing debri from the property.
    #3 – Put two portable potties on the property
    #4 – Leave the planting to mother nature – it’s gorgeous just the way it is.

    Both Native Americans and Anglos have lived on this land. Both have left their footprints. We don’t need another manicured park – we already have those. But we only have one Sacred Native American Burial site and Shell Mound Village that has as much documentation as this one does.

    This is a cemetery/sacred burial site and a NA cultural site.

    It’s where ancestors speak to us from and it’s where we speak to them.

    Leave well enough alone!

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