A Native American woman in a blue shirt and black jacket sits on a chair in a forested area near a house.

California Indian Tribes Denied Resources for Decades as Federal Acknowledgement Lags

In the last 13 years, the U.S. Department of Interior has actively reviewed applications for acknowledgement of only 18 tribes, even as hundreds remain in line. The Public Press has identified more than 400 tribes seeking federal recognition and is working to confirm that 200 others with publicly listed applications are genuine.

Many have been waiting for decades. The Death Valley TimbiSha Shoshone Band is the only California tribe that has been recognized in the 44 years since the federal acknowledgement process was established.

Volunteers spread open a panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt during an opening ceremony on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park. This was the largest display of the quilt since it was shown in Washington, D.C., in 2012.

After SF Visit, AIDS Quilt Heads to South to Raise Awareness

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was unfurled recently in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for its largest display in a decade, marking the start of a campaign to educate the public about a disease that, since 1981, has infected 1.2 million people nationwide. 

While new HIV infections in the United States have been in decline, the disease continues to take a disproportionate toll on racial and ethnic minorities, men who identify as gay or bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. The highest rates of new infections and numbers of untreated people are found in the South. 

Organizers estimated that 20,000 people visited the San Francisco quilt display June 11 and 12. This fall, sections of the quilt will be taken on a tour of the South for “large displays in city centers, as well as smaller displays in rural, non-metro areas,” said Dafina Ward, executive director of the Southern AIDS Coalition. New names will be added to the 35-year-old quilt during the tour, she said. 

Half Dome was originally called “Tis-sa-ack,” meaning “Cleft Rock” in the language of the Ahwahnechee People, one of the seven tribes that lived in Yosemite. John Muir referred to the iconic monolith by its native name and Half Dome interchangeably. The mountain is prominently visible from Highway 120, a road leading up to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

John Muir, Racial Politics and the Restoration of Indigenous Lands in Yosemite

John Muir has been honored extensively, with his name on many sites and institutions, including 28 schools, a college, a number of mountains, several trails, a glacier, a forest, a beach, a medical center, a highway and Muir Woods National Monument, one of the most visited destinations in the Bay Area. But in the time since the Sierra Club issued a nuanced statement in 2020 acknowledging some racist language in his early writings, some have come to believe that Muir’s legacy should be diminished, despite his contributions to the preservation of wilderness and later writings praising native tribes. 

Derrick Soo stands by old industrial circuits in Oakland’s Cannery Lofts, the site of his great-grandfather Lew Hing’s first cannery. By the time Lew died in 1934, he had been forced to liquidate most of his business holdings, leaving him stripped of the wealth he spent his whole life earning. Soo said he believes that had it not been for the racist policies and actions against his family, their legacy would look much different today.

Tax Cuts and Eroding Worker Protections Made Wealth Gap More Extreme

When we examine the massive wealth gap between the rich and poor in this country, what stands out most is how differently it affects the country’s white and Black populations.

According to data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, the typical Black family has $24,000 in wealth. That is less than 13% of the $190,000 in wealth held by the typical white family.