Pomo Possibilities

Pomo Dancers at Jackson State Demonstration Forest

Right Now We Are Seeing History in the Making.

In the confluence of purpose and action, our community is coming together for Tribal sovereignty and reconciliation through the Pomo Land Back movement. This is an opportunity to learn about and support the Northern Pomo People of Mendocino County. This is an opportunity to regain alignment with nature, with our community, and the indigenous people of these lands.

The parallels between the Indigenous Forest and the Indigenous People are striking. Much like the ancestral old growth Redwoods, only a fraction of the original Pomo people are still alive. 
Populations of Pomo tribes numbered between 13,000 - 20,000 in the early 1800s. By the 2000 census, only 5,092 Pomo were left. Likewise, only 4% of the original Redwood Forests exist, while the other 96% have been logged to extinction.

Mendocino County is home to 10 surviving Pomo tribes. All have experienced countless forms of discrimination, forced assimilation, relocation, and legal termination. It is time for the cycle to pivot. We can do this together through regeneration, cooperation, and collaboration.

What we do to the forest, we do to the people

 

The Pomo Tribal Leadership has identified Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) as the focus of the Pomo Land Back movement and has gathered the support of 50 California tribes across the State. This has never been achieved before. Tribal Chairman Michael Hunter is ready to lead the way for healing and has asked Governor Newsom for co-management of these forests. With the help of a strong local coalition of environmental organizations, the logging has been stopped for now.

"Our responsibility is to past... present... and future generations of all life."

 

The way forward is to rematriate the forest and move into Indigenous stewardship. Following the lead of matriarch Priscilla Hunter, Tribal Chairman Michael Hunter is gathering the community together to bring healing and restore the biodiversity to our forests and rivers.

The 50,000 acres of Jackson State Demonstration Forests (JDSF) has been managed by Cal Fire since 1949. It is full of ancestral sacred sites, and is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the State. With the co-management plan the tribes will guide the State agencies to implement their place based knowledge and create a real demonstration forest for future generations. This irreplaceable knowledge is the expertise that has been cultivated over millennia by the tribes who have inhabited these forests.

Indigenous experts hold the wisdom of interdependence with our surroundings and how to live with the cycles of growth that will support all life. This traditional ecology knowledge (TEK) system was brutally interrupted at the time of colonization. The forest is suffering the loss of these practices and experiencing the harsh consequence of a dysfunctional system that breeds greed and exploitation.

I invite you to be a good steward of the Jackson State Demonstration Forest and learn about the Pomo Land Back movement. Together we create a new era of justice for our First Nations People of Mendocino. With Pomo leadership, Cal Fire has an opportunity to truly demonstrate what a healthy forest and healthy ecosystem is for generations to come. This is a win, win, for people, policy, and the planet. Native-led co-management of JDSF is the strongest medicine for our forests and community as a whole. I urge you to learn how you can support the stewards of this amazing forest.

 

To join the movement and learn more go to www.pomolandback.com.


Further Resources:
Pomo History - Encyclopedia.com
The Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council

Redwood Forest Returned to Tribes

Halt Logging Northern California

 

The Bee Bold Alliance is a project of Thanksgiving Coffee that works to find sustainable solutions for our future generations by restoring biodiversity and supporting our local food systems. In collaboration with Tribal Chairman Michael Hunter and his family, we are building a resilient community for all life. www.beeboldalliance.com


Give 20% to the Bee Bold Alliance when you buy the Bee Bold Cause Coffee in Dark and Medium, or Decaf. We have raised over $21,000 to support biodiversity and local food security to date.