Let the true descendants be heard

  • by: Joseph Rhoan
  • target: Michael Tollefson, National Park Service,Yosemite National Park, National Park Service
The NPS is rewriting the history of Yosemite Indians as well as commiting cultural genocide against this great nation. The NPS is refusing consultation with the true descendants of the Yosemite Indians yet they have entered into illegal contract with an unrecognised Indian group who speak up for all decisions which are rightfully ours to make. The true descendants are not being heard in their attempts to save their native homeland scheduled for demolition due the The Yosemite Valley Plan.
Mr. Michael Tollefson, Superintendant:Yosemite National Park:
CC:
Senator Dianne Feinstein: CA
Gail Norton , Department of Interior
Congressman George Radonovich

Since your assuming the position of Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, many attempts by us, The True descendants of the Yosemite Indians have gone unanswered by you and you staff.

We, the Yosemite Indian Nation have been denied consultation with you and your staff in areas of concern to us such as; The removal of artifacts from well documented areas (and your statement that these artifacts will be removed and housed in museums ) of the National Park which are located in the Lower Yosemite falls area known to historically be inhabited Indian areas where much archeological data retrieval has been documented by your Park Service as well as independent archeologists.

You have also refused to take into consideration our oral history which has been carried with us for thousands of years.Our oral history states these areas of concern where where we pray and where our ancestors have fallen and found their eternal resting areas. Your museum curators, and archeologists have also taken our history and changed it to suit the needs of your Park Service so that you can cleanly implement the Yosemite Valley Plan and all the destruction that will occur to our sacred sites and ethnographic areas which we still rely on and use to this day.
We also know that these areas where our ancestors rest are being dug into and disturbing the spirit as well as unbalancing the medicine.We believe this is taking place so that the Yosemite Valley Plan can be implemented quickly and without more controversy than has already taken place. We also know that this Valley Plan is not for protection of our sacred valley as your service has stated in press and in Congress , but for expansion for tourism and the dollars it will bring for the National Park Service as well as the concessionaires in the Valley today.
We also know in our hearts because of your lack of responsive to us the true blood descendants of our ancestor, Great Chief Tenaya of the Yosemite Indian Nation you have shown a lack of respect to us as well as a total disregard to promises made by your own government service those being :To preserve history and protect the traditions and culture as well as the environment, animals and waterways of our sacred homeland:The Yosemite Valley.

We also take issue with your recognition of the American Indian Council of Mariposa County: a.k.a. the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation . We ask you now how you recognize this group as an Indian Nation who hold enough power within the eyes of a Federal Government agency such as the National Park Service, yet they are a federally unrecognized band of Indians who have little connection to ancestry by blood to the true Yosemite Indians. Most of these Indians have blood lines linking them to the Mariposa Miwuk only and these descendants you use as decision makers in our affairs do not have ancestral ties to the True Yosemite Indians. Most of the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation have ties to Yosemite only by past employment to the National Park Service and are not true relations by blood to Tenaya or the Paiute Indians which inhabited Yosemite for thousands of years.
We cite the fact that if these Mariposa Indians are NOT federally recognized , then it is your agency that has made illegal contract with this group ( Programmatic Agreement signed by American Indian Council of Mariposa County in 1997 (MOU) and allow them to be decision makers in affairs that only are legal within recognized sovereign Indian Nations.

Yosemite is where we began, the place we were created. Yosemite holds a sacred history for us, it is the very core of who we are.
We are the Yosemite Indian.
Our love of Yosemite and what it means to us lives in our hearts and is in our blood.
Creator gives us this place to care for and to cherish.
The Federal Government has given this job as Superintendent to someone to enact their mission statement as well as their policies on protection and preservation. We hope that you see in our ancestral homeland all the wonders and promise that has been entrusted to you by your higher authority and would respect and protect it in the same manner that we have for thousands of years.
To walk in the shadow of El Capitan or Half Dome and to witness the changing of seasons, one cannot help but walk in reverence and appreciate the miracles that surround us, a new one each day, from the winged ones who pursue their daily flight over head and move on to their roosting places to the Bear that makes its journey full circle each year, time and time again.
As of late our mother has cried out against the destruction in the Yosemite Valley. The destruction has a name: "The Yosemite Valley Plan"
Our ancestors have suffered and have also been disturbed by this plan. Our mother asks us "When will this stop?"
We pray daily that this will cease and that once again the Valley, the ancestors and spirits will be at rest and in peace. We pray that the winged ones will forever be able to find their rightful place at Eagle Rock or other roosting areas. This is their entitlement given to them by the Creator. We pray that the four legged ones will forever be able to find, once again, the peace and harmony that they have had for centuries.
We pray that the medicine returns to balance. We pray that all living beings in the valley whether they be plant, animal or unseen species be allowed to return to balance.
We pray that you understand that all things are related. We pray that the natural balance returns soon and that we can put the Mother at rest once again and restore balance to her, the ancestors, and creation.
We pray that you understand this cycle, and that you also understand your responsibility and the role you play in all that is the Yosemite Valley.
We carry with us the history of our ancestors, which teaches us our people came into being through the hands of our Creator to care for our Mother. Our ancestors honored the gift of the Creator for thousands of years. We, the children of the ancient ones, accept our loyalty to the teachings and go forward to protect what has been given.
We acknowledge, as we walk upon our ancient land our hearts become open as we feel the presence of our ancient ones. Our ears begin to hear the words of those laying beneath. We gather knowledge of the plant and rock medicine, of the four legged and winged ones buried with our people.
We know that there is so little left. We pray for preservation for the future generations so that we will carry on.
We concede that the United States Government holds illegal title to our ancestral lands and are using the Mother for the purpose of government/corporate advancements for financial interests.
We recognize with protest, the United States Government, through its entity known as the National Park Service, has violently contracted much of our ancestral land, unearthed many of our ancestors, built lodges, restaurants, concessions, museums and housing over our ancestral villages destroying the sacred history of our people who lay underneath for eternity.
We further recognize, today the National Park Service is unearthing what remains of our history and the history of those that shared the ancient land with our People. These present actions are directly connected to "The Yosemite Valley Plan."
We seek to gather those who would strengthen our path to the protection of our mother and all connected. These prayers, we trust will be soon answered.


THE DESCENDANTS OF CHIEF TENAYA
Yosemite Indian Nation
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