Native American Heritage Commission

NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION DECLARES OCOTILLO WIND A SACRED SITE, ASKS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO WEIGH LEGAL ACTION

 

“I really want to say `Dismantle it and give the land back to the tribes…I’d like to ask the Attorney General to…give this commission more teeth so we could say `Tear that wall down.”  -- Commissioner Marshall McKay

View video highlights by Paul Kruze: http://youtu.be/nS93BfT6juI

  (For full unedited videos, scroll to bottom of this story)

By Miriam Raftery

April 26, 2013 (San Diego) – At a hearing in San Diego on Monday, members of the state Native American Heritage Commission heard several hours of emotional testimony from Native Americans who contend that the  U.S. Bureau of Land Management ignored their  concerns and its duty to protect a clearly documented sacred site and cemetery in the fast-tracked approval process for the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility.

By a 4-0 vote, with the remaining commissioners absent, the NAHC voted to grant requests by Viejas and Quechan tribes to declare the 12,400 acre Ocotillo wind project site a sanctified Native American  sacred site.  Further, the commissioners voted unanimously to ask California Attorney General Kamala Harris to research if legal action can be taken.

NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION HEARING ON OCOTILLO ISSUES SET FOR APRIL 22 IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Native American Heritage (CNAH) Commission will hold a hearing in San Diego on Monday, April 22 at 11 a.m. The hearing will focus on results of an NAHC investigation into local tribes' allegations that the federal government failed to protect Native American cultural resources at the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility site.

The hearing will be in the State of California Building, 1350 Front Street, San Diego 92101 (between A and Ash Streets).  

A hearing previously set for February was cancelled without explanation. The CNAH had issued a  draft report in support of claims by the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians and Quechan Indian Nation that the Bureau of Land Management failed in its duty to protect cultural resources, including human remains and sacred sites, at the Ocotillo project.  The draft staff report detailed a disturbing pattern by the BLM, Pattern Energy and a project archaeology consultant of ignoring tribal concerns and failing in its duty to protect cultural resources. 

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE THREATENS LAWSUIT AGAINST PADRE DAM AFTER WATER DISTRICT DEFIES NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION, CONTINUES CONSTRUCTION AT SITE DEEMED SACRED

 

 

Community leaders testify on Viejas’ behalf, ask Padre’s water board to find alternative solution;
Viejas to ask judge on Friday to extend injunction

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2010 (Santee) – Improper. Disrespectful. Inappropriate. Embarassing. Those were some of the terms community leaders used at yesterday’s Padre Dam Municipal Water Board hearing to describe the Board’s refusal to halt construction at a planned reservoir and pipeline site near Lake Jennings.

 

“I’ve just come from the site,” Leon Thompson testified, drawing an audible gasp from the crow when he added that he shot video showing “desecration continuing” of areas near a circle of rocks marking grave sites.  View video here.

NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION RULES IN FAVOR OF VIEJAS

 

Declares proposed reservoir site a sanctified Native American cemetery

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2010 (San Diego) – At a hearing in San Diego yesterday, the state's Native American Heritage Commission declare the site of a proposed reservoir and pumping station to be a sanctified Native American cemetery. The Commission called for the site to be protective and ordered a halt all construction.

 

If construction is not stopped, the Commission  urged the California Attorney General to file suit against Padre Dam Municipal Water District.