Indians Occupy Glen Cove Sacred Site
Faced with the imminent arrival of bulldozers at the Native American sacred burial site at Glen Cove, Vallejo, members of the local Native American community will hold a religious ceremony to commence an occupation of Sogorea Te, otherwise known as Glen Cove, in the City of Vallejo beginning at 8 am on Friday, April 15, 2011. Native Americans and their supporters have vowed to physically block bulldozers or any other work that would desecrate the burial site.
Native American activists consider this to be the last stand in a struggle that has been going on for over a decade, since the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) first proposed plans for a “fully featured public park” including construction of a paved parking lot, paved hiking trails, 1000 pound picnic tables and a public restroom on top of the 3500 year old burial site.
On Wednesday, April 13th, Sacred Site Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT), a Vallejo-based community organization, filed an administrative civil rights complaint to the State of California alleging that the City and GVRD are discriminating on the basis of race in threatening to destroy and desecrate significant parts of the Glen Cove Shellmound and burial site, for harming Native Americans’ religious and spiritual well-being, and effectively excluding Native Americans from their right to full participation in decision-making regarding the site
The history and cultural value of the site has never been disputed. Human remains have been consistently unearthed as the area around the site has been developed. Native Americans continue to hold ceremonies at Sogorea Te just as they have for thousands of years. The Glen Cove Shell Mound spans fifteen acres along the Carquinez Strait. It is the final resting place of many Indigenous People dating back more than 3,500 years, and has served as a traditional meeting place for dozens of California Indian tribes. The site continues to be spiritually important to California tribes. The Glen Cove site is acknowledged by GVRD and the City to have many burials and to be an important cultural site, yet they are moving forward as early as Friday with plans to build a toilet and parking lot on this sacred site and to grade a hill that likely contains human remains and important cultural artifacts.
SSP&RIT have asked GVRD to reconsider their plans to grade the hill and build toilets and a parking lot at the site.
Glen Cove is located near the intersection of South Regatta and Whitesides Drive in Vallejo.