Draft Discussion- Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Lands Act
For Immediate Release
April 18, 2018
Smith River, CA – On March 17, 2018 the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation held its annual General Membership Meeting, at which the Tribal Council shared draft legislation to assist the Tribe in fulfilling its self-determination. The intent of this legislation, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Lands Act, is to provide the Tribe the ability to efficiently manage tribally owned lands, resources, and programs, and ensure a timely fee-to-trust process with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for all fee-land owned by the Tribe in California, all while respecting the sovereignty of neighboring tribes, the jurisdiction of local governments, and the
rights of local property owners.
Throughout the past year, the Tribe has worked with Congressman Huffman and his staff to understand the requirements and steps to introduce legislation. Throughout this process, the Tribe has considered stakeholder impact and community support in the development of the Lands Act, which is why we regret that many local stakeholders were caught by surprise when they learned about the draft legislation from Congressman Huffman, and we understand that many people have questions. The Tribe has given preliminary notification to local governments, of our desire to work with Congressman Huffman’s office to introduce legislation and intends to expand our outreach in the weeks ahead. The Tribe is committed to ensuring that all comments will be fully considered as part of this ongoing process. Feedback from local stakeholders, including neighboring tribes, local governments, and property owners, will provide us with valuable input from the region on the Lands Act and will help us determine the next steps we will take with Congressman Huffman in an effort to assist the Tribe in its self-determination movement. The Tribe values all comments brought forward, and is committed to the long term partnership and success of Del Norte County and the surrounding region.
About the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation
The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is a federally recognized, self-governing Indian Nation governed by the Tribal Council, which is comprised of seven (7) elected members. The Mission of the Nation is, [t]o exert and protect the inherent sovereignty endowed upon the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation to promote our tribal identity,and the well being of our people, community, and environment by building a strong foundation, managing resources, and perpetuating our cultural lifeways and legacy.
With over 1,700 tribal citizens, and an aboriginal territory that spans from Sixes River in Oregon to Wilson Creek in California, the Nation has a Bureau of Indian Affairs five county near reservation service area that includes Humboldt and Del Norte in California and Curry, Coos and Josephine in Oregon. 54% of our population lives within the service area, with the highest resident population being Del Norte County with 489 residents at 30%, and the second being Curry County with 208 residents at 12%.