Photos by Dan Bacher, Matt Mais of the Yurok Tribe and Stormy Staats of the Klamath Justice Coalition
California Indian Nations defend Indigenous Fishing and Gathering Rights, Take Control of Governor's Ribbon Cutting
By Dan Bacher
FORT BRAGG, Calif. -- In a historic protest on July 21, over 300 members of California Indian Tribes and their allies peacefully took control of a Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting in Fort Bragg to protest the violation of indigenous gathering and fishing rights under Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggers controversial MLPA Initiative.
Over 60 immigrant workers from the sea urchin industry, many from indigenous communities in central and southern Mexico that were forced to come to the U.S. after they were driven off their land under NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), marched side by side with members of the Yurok, Tolowa, Cahto, Kashia Pomo, Karuk, Hoopa Valley, Maidu, Hopi, Navajo and other tribes. Besides them were recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, seaweed harvesters, environmentalists and sea urchin divers and local political candidates.