Home at Last: The Kashia Band of Pomo Indians Returns to the California Coast

Partnering with local agencies, The Trust for Public Land devised a plan that would return the land to the Kashia while allowing for an addition to the California Coast Trail.

Land+People (The Trust for Public Land’s magazine: Go to Page 30)

img_3900“Close your eyes,” instructs Reno Franklin. Chairman of the Kashia band of Pomo Indians, Franklin wears a long black Mohawk pulled into a loose ponytail to reveal a closely shaven skull. He’s addressing a crowd gathered to celebrate the creation of the new Kashia Coastal Reserve.

“Close your eyes,” he repeats. “Close your eyes…” As the audience complies, a smile plays across his face.

“Think back 200 years, when thousands—not hundreds, but thousands—of Kashia people walked on this land. Literally right where you’re standing. That is where we are.

Two hundred years ago, the Russians came. The ‘Undersea People.’ Why did we call them that? Look.” He gestures to the sweeping Pacific, stretching to the horizon behind him. “That view had stayed the same for thousands of years. Until a mast appeared, and then a boat. The Undersea People. From that day forward, everything changed for us.”

Read the full story here, it starts on page 30.