Monday, 22 April 2024

Resighini Tribe of Yurok People and California State Parks Sign historic agreement to steward and co-manage cultural and natural resources in ancestral territories

Top left: Resighini Tribe of Yurok People Leadership and State Parks Leadership at the MOU signing in Klamath on Feb. 14, 2024. Bottom left: State Parks Director Armando Quintero and Resighini Tribal Chairperson Fawn C. Murphy sign the MOU. Bottom right: State Parks Director Armando Quintero, Resighini Tribal Chairperson Fawn C. Murphy, and Resighini Council Treasurer Kendra Jones. Photos from California State Parks.

KLAMATH, Calif.— California State Parks and the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People have announced the signing of a historic agreement to protect the natural and cultural resources in state parks within the Tribe’s traditional territory.

“We are honored to be leaders in ocean and coastal stewardship and to continue to work with State Parks toward our common goals,” said Fawn C. Murphy, chairperson of the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People. “Tribes have an inherent responsibility to steward and co-manage important cultural and natural resources in our ancestral territories. This MOU establishes a path to revitalizing Indigenous knowledge, supporting access to traditional cultural resources, and putting us back in the places we’ve been removed from for far too long.”

Signed at the Resighini Tribal headquarters in Klamath on Wednesday, Feb. 14, the memorandum of understanding, or MOU, outlines the mutual responsibilities of State Parks and the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People to promote a successful cooperation, co-management, and collaboration between the parties.

This includes incorporating indigenous traditional knowledge to better protect and preserve state parks, and ensuring consultation and meaningful dialogue takes place sufficiently in advance of final decision-making on what may affect the cultural and natural resource management.

The Resighini Tribe of Yurok People is one of three North Coast Tribes that formally designated, under their sovereign authority, the first Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area, or IMSA, in the United States – the Yurok-Tolowa Dee-ni’ Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area.

Through this MOU, State Parks will also work with the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People to educate the public about the significance of the Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area and its importance to cultural and natural resource protection, as well as its contribution to meeting the State of California’s goals to protect 30% of lands and waters by 2030 (30x30).

“This agreement with the Resighini Tribe represents a formal reconnection with the deep-time knowledge of cultures who have been here for hundreds of generations,” said Armando Quintero, director of California’s State Parks. “Our commitment to working with each other is a commitment to the healthy future of the natural and cultural resources in the state parks which are in the Resighini Tribe’s territory.”

The State Parks Tribal MOU program seeks to facilitate collaboration between California Native American tribes and State Parks by establishing protocols for continuous open discussions and outlining the responsibilities of each party to promote successful cooperation and partnership. This is the 11th MOU between State Parks and a California Native American tribe. The first one was signed on April 13, 2017.

To learn more about the program, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/TribalMOUProgram.

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