Since time immemorial, we as Tolowa Dee-ni have been clamming the shores of our ocean. Techniques, gear and laws have been passed down from generation to generation. Recently there was an incident where an excessive amount of clams were taken from the shore, including many small, baby clams. One member of our Fish & Game Committee recalls a method his grandfather passed along to him. He was told that while clamming, “if you find baby clams, put them aside and when you’re done replace them in the sand and place large rocks on top.” The Committee member went on to say, “this way the babies have a better chance to grab a hold again and hopefully won’t get swept out to sea.” These traditions are important for the long term preservation of our Tribal marine resources.
Methods like these that are passed along are an important part of the stewardship of our natural resources. To improve the sustainability of our clamming beds, or any other resource, we are utilizing traditional protocols that will speak to Tribal Code development. Following these traditional laws will provide a sustainable clam population for all Tribal members to share in and will provide clams for future generations. The more we know about traditional methods the better we can construct our codes to reflect the uses and needs of the Tribe.
We extend an open invitation to any and all Elders that wish to attend a Fish & Game Committee meeting to share with us your traditional ecological knowledge about clamming or any other natural resource. Our meetings are held each month (February’s meeting date TBD) at 5:30pm in the Nii-li Room of the Casino. Please contact Rosa Laucci if you’d like to attend or would like information about future meetings.
Rosa Laucci: 707-487-9255 x3152 or firstname.lastname@example.org