Saturday, January 28, 2023

Bill to Accommodate Native American Cultural Tradition of Naming Newborns Introduced by Assemblyman Wood

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The following is a press release from Assemblyman Jim Wood:

File:'Basket Baby - Rosa's' (No. 229) by Grace Hudson, 1903.JPG
Basket Baby – Rosa’s (No. 229) by Grace Hudson, 1903, Grace Hudson Museum

Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) announced AB 2176, expanding the timeframe for Native American families to register the birth of a child. The bill is expanding the timeframe for registration from 10 days to 21 days, honoring and accommodating the period of sacred ceremonial blessing and naming of the newborn.

State law currently requires registration of a newborn within 10 days of birth. Many Native American families follow a cultural tradition of not naming their newborn for 10 days and dedicating the tenth day to a sacred naming ceremony. This tradition does not allow time for complying with current state law.

“Humboldt County is home to nine federally recognized Tribes and Rancherias and remain on their traditional homelands to this day,” said Wood. “These sovereign nations, and others throughout California, have their own specific beliefs, traditional practices and ceremonies and the state must respect that by allowing adequate time to complete the required registration process.”

In 2021, Providence Humboldt County initiated a “Better Birthing Project” with local tribes to build relationships and increase trust between St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka and the Native communities it serves. A team of hospital staff and representatives from the Native communities conducted extensive interviews with Native parents to identify the challenges of and consider solutions to improve the birth experience.

“When life is brought into this world, it is a special time. Extending California’s timeline for registering new births from 10 days to 21 days allows Native American families to comply with state law and fulfill their sacred cultural naming traditions,” said Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland), the principal coauthor of AB 2176. “I applaud Assemblymember Wood for introducing this measure which makes our state more respectful of the state’s First People.”

“The many Tribes and Rancherias contribute so much to the culture of our state, and I have learned a great deal about their traditions and benefitted from their wise council over the years, so this change in law this is a way to respect such an important event in their lives,” said Wood.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Do we ever come clean about California’s role in the genocide of the people who lived hear when we showed up looking for wealth? Not many military massacres but public and private hunting parties murdering at will. California natives were not war nations, they were Hunter gather tribes. When will America admit we are no better than Nazi Germany in our history books

  2. Right on. Plenty enough Military massacres too; Highly recommended reading :

    An American Genocide
    The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe
    By: Benjamin Madley

  3. Wounded Knee, drunken soldiers disarm prohibited persons. With three Hotckiss Cannon they kill 30 US soldiers with friendly fire plus 400 mostly women and children. They leave the bodies all winter
    They award 20 Medals of Honor for “Heroic Acts”
    History with bleach and a mask

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced largely by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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