The following is a press release from California State Parks:
The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) and the Koi Nation of Northern California (Koi) today announced the renewal of a 5-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Koi and State Parks and the renaming of two park features at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park (SHP). The MOU formalizes coordination and cooperation between the two entities for the protection, preservation and interpretation at Anderson Marsh SHP.
Koi Nation Chairman Darin Beltran and State Parks Director Armando Quintero executed the MOU renewal during a formal signing ceremony on Wednesday, August 30, at Anderson Marsh SHP near the newly renamed Mxqawlay’ba Knowin Xyoykith Ridge, which translates to “the grandmothers/ancestors heal on this mountain,” in Southeastern Pomo. The ridge was formerly known as Lewis Ridge. The other park feature that was renamed is the McVicar Trail, now called Dawa Qanoq’ana, which translates into “south way in front of me.”
“I am honored to celebrate the signing of the first renewal of a MOU between the California Department of Parks and Recreation and a California Tribal Nation,” said State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “State Parks very much looks forward to the continued strengthening of the relationships between the Koi Nation and the people of State Parks as we work together to preserve a beautiful part of California for generations to come.”
In April 2017, the Koi and State Parks signed the first MOU between State Parks and a California Tribal Nation. This groundbreaking MOU created a base for collaboration and cooperation, protecting cultural and natural resources in Anderson Marsh SHP. Through this MOU, the Koi Nation has been performing regular cultural resource monitoring, a valuable asset for State Parks in the protection of irreplaceable history and cultural resources in the park.
The collaborative protection efforts have led to several arrests and convictions related to cultural resource crimes in the park. “The Koi Nation’s commitment is to protect all First Nations tribal cultural resources and sacred sites in Northern California,” said Koi Nation Vice Chairman Dino Beltran.
State Parks greatly appreciates the Koi Nation Tribal Council’s continued commitment to continually supporting the work with State Parks and cultural resource monitoring. The renewal MOU expands on the areas of collaboration between the Koi and State Parks to further use traditional ecological knowledge in the protection of cultural and natural resources, including the use of cultural burns for wildfire resilience, and provides access for Koi Tribal Members to gather plant materials and minerals for traditional purposes at the park.
This effort is a part of State Parks Reexamining our Past Initiative, which seeks to remove derogatory and inaccurate names and materials from the State Park System while restoring native names and other significant aspects of California’s cultural heritage. The preservation of Anderson Marsh SHP is based on its long history with California Native Americans dating back tens of thousand of years. This renaming honors this connection.