Native American Activists Occupy Contested Vallejo Park Site

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Ohlone tribe members protest a planned constuction project in Vallejo (CBS)

Ohlone tribe members protest a planned constuction project in Vallejo (CBS)

VALLEJO (KCBS) – Dozens of American Indian activists set up camp Friday in Glen Cove Waterfront Park to stop construction at an ancient burial ground.

“The goal here is to not have bathrooms put on top of a cemetery, to not have a parking lot here,” said Corrina Gould, an Ohlone whose Chochenyo ancestors are buried at the site.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Gould and nearly 150 others took part in a 3-hour ceremony Friday to kick off the occupation near Whitesides Drive.

Gould said the protected shoreline and eucalyptus groves at Glen Cove should remain park land, so long as plans to enhance the trails and add picnic tables take account of the site’s history.

“We’d like to keep this place as open to everyone, but to remember that it’s a cemetery,” she said.

Mark Ancuoe with the International Indian Treaty Council said human remains have been unearthed on the site on several occasions over the past 150 years.

“So we know that it has been a burial site at various times and it has been used as a ceremonial site as long as anyone can remember,” Ancuoe said.

Vallejo city officials have said they would try to protect culturally sensitive areas of the 15-acre park along the Carquinez Strait. Activists feared the initial bulldozing work would begin before the master plan for the site could be changed.

A civil suit filed Wednesday to stop the construction named the Greater Vallejo Recreation District and the City of Vallejo as defendants.

A mediator from the Department of Justice will sit down with both sides at a meeting Monday, officials said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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