Ellin Beltz/Wikimedia Commons
View North from Woodley Island Marina at end of Startare Drive showing National Register Marker with Indian Island shell midden on other side of channel. There is no public access to Indian Island itself, it can only be seen from Samoa Bridge, Woodley Island or a boat.

Eureka Offers ‘Support’ Not Apology to Wiyot Tribe


“One is a little more negative and the other is a little more positive,” Jager told the paper. “One thing I discussed with staff is it wasn’t just people from the city of Eureka that precipitated massacres. Other people in cities in the county did too.”

According to the Times-Standard, Eureka Councilwoman Linda Atkins called the first letter “heartfelt,” and the second “bureaucratic.”

“My concern is that as people, we are unable to take any steps in this world without a concern about liability,” Atkins said. “And I realize that the city has a big concern about liability in everything we do. However, the fact of that matter is that if you actually do anything you can be sued. It doesn’t matter how you do it or what you say when you do it. If you actually do something, somebody could sue you.

“It hurts me that this very nice letter had to go through this morphing that it did,” Atkins told the Times-Standard. “It took it from being a personal letter in which we were expressing our concerns as people of Eureka and taking responsibility for what happened in 1860 into a letter that says we’re sorry that this happened to you without taking responsibility. To me that is a very different statement.”

While Tom Torma, the Wiyot Tribe’s lhatsik wadaqoumilh, or cultural director, told Indian Country Today Media Network that the tribe hasn’t reviewed the letter yet, he said: “We have a good working relationship with the city and we look forward to expanding and developing it.”

He said the city will present the tribe with the letter on Monday, March 24 and the World Renewal Ceremony will be held March 28, 29 and 30.


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Chooj's picture
Submitted by Chooj on
That second draft is completely lame. "... continuing to work toward establishing better relationships rooted in reconciliation." How can a reconciliation begin without first acknowledging the crime/massacre committed and then truly apologizing? What a milk toast effort by Eureka.