Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/28/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Wiyot tribe members were slaughtered on Indian Island 153 years ago

For the surviving members of the Wiyot tribe, it will be a bittersweet return to their homeland. Wiyot tribal members will brave the choppy waters in Humboldt Bay in order to cross on to Indian Island. For three days, beginning March 28, the Wiyot will perform a world renewal ceremony on the island. It will mark the first time the ceremony has been performed since an Indian massacre of 153 years ago. It's hoped that this will add to the healing of the many injustices that the Wiyot have suffered since. 

Wiyot tribal elder Cheryl Seidner passed around a bag at a meeting to collect money to purchase Indian Island in the 1990s. When she later collected $40,000 in the bag -- she was dumbfounded.

Wiyot tribal elder Cheryl Seidner passed around a bag at a meeting to collect money to purchase Indian Island in the 1990s. When she later collected $40,000 in the bag -- she was dumbfounded.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/28/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Wiyot tribe, Indian Island, massacre, Cheryl Seidner


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Indian Island is described as flat and marshy. The 275-acre island sits beneath a bridge near busy Route 255. The nondescript area in March will bear witness to a ceremony of rebirth and testament of survival for a people brought to the brink of extinction.

"We need to complete the ceremony of 1860 for the ones who were lost," Ted Hernandez, chairman of the 645-member tribe says.

It's not easy to recover from a massacre. The worst ethnic slaughters in U.S. history occurred in 1860 as the Wiyot danced and sang at a world renewal ceremony on Indian Island. A posse of white settlers stealthily crept up on the tribe that terrible night in 1860 and murdered more than 50 Native American women and children, mostly with axes and hatchets.

"Amidst the wailing of mutilated infants," the San Francisco Bulletin wrote at the time, "the savage blows are given, cutting through bone and brain."

Nearby settlers carried out two more massacres that night, killing an additional 90 Indians. The majority of those killed were Wiyot, and for more than a century it seemed the Wiyot were a destroyed people.

Forced into a local Army fort, the Wiyot were forbidden to use their own language. The last fluent speakers eventually died off, and in 1958 the U.S. government, intent on mainstreaming Native Americans, stripped the Wiyot of their tribal status.

The Wiyot, many of whom succumbed to drug and alcohol abuse, slowly began to recover. The Wiyot Nation, which finally regained tribal status in 1990, began the slow process of returning to Indian Island.

Around 1970, Wiyot tribal chair Albert James began talking about taking the site back.

"It's the center of our world," his niece Cheryl Seidner, a Wiyot elder said. "Our ancestors have always lived there, and Albert was envisioning a cultural center and a museum."

The Tuluwat site came up for sale in 1990. Seidner, then an administrative assistant at Humboldt State University, approached the Wiyot tribal council, proposing that it buy the property.

"They told me, 'You don't have a right to propose that,'" she recalled. "And I was a good kid. I stepped back."

The world has changed, and the Wiyot have changed with it . but we still need our traditions. We need something to hold on to.

Seidner became the Wiyot's tribal chair later that decade, and the Tuluwat site went up for sale again. The asking price was $106,000. At a meeting of the National Congress of American Indians, in Palm Springs, California, a friend stood on a table beseeching the 1,400 attendees to help Seidner with a down payment before passing around a paper bag.

"When I got back to my hotel room and counted the money," Seidner said, "we had raised $40,000. I was dumbfounded."



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


IT'S ABOUT TIME: Rick Perry deploys national guard to halt southern invasion! Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, in an effort to stem the flood of illegals that have crossed over throughout 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort to stem the influx of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been entering the United States illegally in 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland’s Lagman, Birger ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter