Wednesday October 12, 2022

The Mendocino Voice

Ahead of Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year, leaders from five indigenous tribes gathered to launch the Tribal Marine Stewards Network (TMSN). The four founding tribes are the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, the Resighini Rancheria, and the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation; The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians will soon join as the fifth tribe, and tribes that are interested in future partnership can get in touch. 

“The network provides opportunities to share knowledge and build tribal capacity to monitor and manage ocean resources,” said Abreanna Gomes, environmental specialist with the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians. Kashia ancestral land stretches along the Pacific Ocean from the Gualala River Watershed to Salmon Creek watershed south of the Russian River, and inland along the Russian River watershed to Guerneville. “Seeing how other tribes within the network have built their programs has been a truly rewarding experience and is allowing us to expand our own program.” 

All told, the TMSN’s current work includes 12 tribe-led initiatives covering 220 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline. They’re supported by state agencies, NGOs, and other partners; on Thursday, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) voted to commit $3.61 million to the TMSN and its five participating tribes over three years. 

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