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For nearly four weeks, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation operated an evacuation shelter for the Chetco Bar Fire at the Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village and Resort (old Ship Ashore). Accepting any persons evacuated from the nearly 190,000-acre fire, the Tribal Nation provided services to over 140 evacuees. Services of indoor shelter, RV sites with water and sewer hook-ups, tent sites, prepared meals and snacks, laundry facilities, and restrooms with showers. Essentials like clothing, toiletries, blankets, towels, fuel, and animal food were also available, as well as games, books and toys for the children. Community member Tami Bishop, commented, “The Tolowa [Dee-ni’] Nation at Ship Ashore has been the only consistent shelter opened for evacuees since day one…They have been wonderful to all of our community’s needs during this fire. And when this is all over, I do hope…you will all let them know just how much their generosity has meant to us.”

With no more Level 3 mandated evacuation areas, the Tribal Nation closed the doors on September 14th. “We are fortunate to be able to provide a safe space where Chetco Bar evacuees could find support, comfort, and have more than their basic needs met. To see our community come together and help one another in this great time of need shows our resiliency. We at the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation are happy to play a part,” said Chairman Scott Sullivan.

All services have been provided at no cost to evacuees through the generous support of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation and their Citizen vol- unteers, as well as many other volunteers from the broader community. Food, water and goods have been generously donated by various organizations and individuals across the local region. The American Red Cross provided 11 days of meal support while generous volun- teers prepared the remaining meals from the abundance of donated goods. “We really couldn’t have pulled this off without the help of so many wonderful people and such great support from the Tribal leadership. They didn’t hesitate to act.” remarked Tessa LaFazio, Emer- gency Services Coordinator for the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation.

Connected to the land burned by the Chetco Bar, Eclipse Complex, and Miller Complex wildfires in southern Oregon and northern Califor- nia, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is also trying to protect cultural resources and places significant to them. This is by advocating to fire management resources personnel constructing fire lines to avoid cultural sites as able. “Our people come from this area and it is our in- herent responsibility as Tolowa Dee-ni’ to manage these places, stay connected to the land, and preserve our cultural heritage,” said Sun- tayea Steinruck, Tribal Heritage Preservation Officer. Given the rate of the spread of the fires and the urgency to protect peoples’ lives and homes, some sites have already been damaged. The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation will continue to work with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to mitigate and repair those places once the fires cease.


Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation

Contact Chairman Scott D. Sullivan

(707) 487-9255

Increasing Public Safety through Partnerships 

For Immediate Release

September 21, 2017

Smith River, CA – On Thursday September 21, 2017 the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation (Tribe/TDN) approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office (DNSO) and the Tribe, that the Sheriff will then present to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors for execution on Tuesday September 26, 2017.

Tribal Chairperson Scott Sullivan stated, “The Tribe has always been generous to the community, but this agreement exemplifies our commitment to increasing public safety and formally demonstrates the Tribe’s contributions to the community.”

The Tribe and the DNSO share a mutual goal of maintaining a safe and secure community for the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Reservation and surrounding Smith River area, and share the belief that a community-involved approach to law enforcement is the best avenue to achieve this goal.

Both Parties recognize that due to a lack of County resources, the TDN Reservation and Smith River area receive inadequate sheriff response and coverage, and the Parties wish to bring equitable law enforcement to the Smith River area. The Parties further recognize that Public Law 83-280 (Public Law 280), adopted in 1953, significantly impacts the law enforcement responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office and that Public Law 280 continues to have a substantial effect on the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation.

In January of this year, the Tribe sent Tribal Citizen Wade Owen to the College of the Redwoods to complete the necessary Police Academy training to become a reserve deputy. Owen was raised in Smith River before serving in the Air Force and ultimately returning to Del Norte County. Owen stated, “I am excited to serve the Tribe and the greater community in this role with the Sheriff’s Office. As a Tribal Citizen, I am in a unique position to provide a law enforcement presence for this area and community.”

In an email from Sheriff Apperson he wrote to the County Counsel The Tolowa Dee-n[i]’ Nation has stepped up [to] the plate and provided a quality individual to help augment our currently strained law enforcement team by paying his way through a police academy and all of the related expenses that came with that. He has proven himself to pass all of our internal and externally governed hiring qualifications. He is ready to serve and we are ready to have him serve.”

This MOU is the beginning of a working relationship between the Tribe, the County, and the Sheriff. This partnership is seen as a positive step in bringing awareness to the Smith River area’s needs, and speaks to the Tribe’s commitment to its people and the community.

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 wellbeing 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%.


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 by

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month- October 2017, the Shu’-‘aa-xuu-dvn (In A Good Way Place) Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the thousands of people across the nation in raising awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. It isn’t a personal matter or even a family issue, but an alarming and pervasive problem that impacts victims, abusers, family members, friends and entire communities. Despite this fact, most cases of domestic violence are never reported.

With the dedication of local agencies and the continued community support we can all help to create a brighter future free of violence and abuse.

Shu’-‘aa-xuu-dvn is pleased provide opportunities during the month of October to get involved, take a stand against domestic violence, and express your continued support for those affected by domestic violence and their families.

Attached are a few of the community events that will be hosted locally by the Shu’-‘aa-xuu-dvn DV/SA Program, please feel free to share the flyers and/or for more information regarding the events contact Andromeda Lopez.

Shu’ ‘aa-shii nin-la ( thank you, I really)

Wear Purple Day

Weekly Lunch and Learns

ONCE WERE WARRIORS – Film Screening and Dialogue


Wellness Fair Coming September 23rd, 2017

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 by

Wellness Fair September 23rd, 2017 10 am—2 pm

Howonquet Hall Community Center

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