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Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wiyot Tribe have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding that will help restore traditional land practices to the community foundation’s campus in Bayside. The MOU, which was signed by Wiyot Tribal Chair Ted Hernandez and HAF Executive Director Patrick Cleary on May 15, establishes gathering rights for Wiyot tribal members to harvest hazel and other culturally significant plants from the grounds. Hazel is one of several materials used by the tribe for basketry.
Wiyot Tribe and Humboldt Area Foundation Finalize Agreement for Gathering Rights on HAF Property
BAYSIDE, CALIF. (June 7, 2019) – Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wiyot Tribe have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding that will help restore traditional land practices to the community foundation’s campus in Bayside. The MOU, which was signed by Wiyot Tribal Chair Ted Hernandez and HAF Executive Director Patrick Cleary on May 15, establishes gathering rights for Wiyot tribal members to harvest hazel and other culturally significant plants from the grounds. Hazel is one of several materials used by the tribe for basketry.
"I would like to thank Humboldt Area Foundation for working with the Wiyot Tribe and our Traditional Gatherers with this new MOU for gathering on their property of traditional plants that surround their property. Also for seeing how important the plants on their property have been for the Wiyot People in our basketry and medicine since the beginning of our creation," said Hernandez.
“Traditional Native practices such as gathering and basket-weaving are an essential of the Wiyot people’s cultural work,” said Cleary. “However, with displacement from their traditional lands and increased development, many Native culture bearers have fewer spaces where they can gather. HAF is pleased to make this partnership with the Wiyot Tribe, and we hope other local property owners will also open their lands for tribal members to gather.”
The agreement was approved unanimously by the Humboldt Area Foundation Board of Directors in February 2019 with the understanding that the tribe will provide consultation and advice on traditional land management practices on the 14.5 acres of Bayside property that includes the Lynn Vietor Nature Trail. The Bayside property falls within the historic boundaries of Wiyot land. As part of the MOU the community foundation has agreed to spread awareness about how other landowners may partner with the Wiyot Tribe to enact similar agreements. Sitka spruce, hazelnut, salmonberry and red huckleberry are some of many plants tribal members may be interested in gathering. Landowners who want to participate are encouraged to call Tribal Offices at (707) 733-5055.
About Humboldt Area Foundation:
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Just about everywhere she looks throughout Humboldt County, Wiyot Tribal Administrator Michelle Vassel sees need. There’s a lack of well-paying jobs and rampant food insecurity. There’s a lack of skilled trades labor and affordable housing. And for the Wiyot people, who lived in approximately 20 village sites scattered around Humboldt Bay before first contact, Vassel sees a lack of autonomy over their ancestral territory.
But now, on the near horizon, Vassel also sees a solution to some of the region’s most entrenched problems: Dishgamu Humboldt. Named after the Wiyot word for love, Dishgamu Humboldt is a first-of-its kind community land trust, a partnership between the tribe and Cooperation Humboldt that those involved feel will have a transformational impact on the area.
“I think what excites me most is just working on the concept of place-based healing, and looking at building together as a community and coming together as a community and working on the long-term vision for the place that we all live,” Vassel said, stressing that the project is truly about taking immediate action toward a long-term vision. “We’re looking at multi-generational. We’re looking past 10, 20, 30 years. We’re looking at 100 years, 200 years, 250 years.”
Read the Full Article at the Community Voices Coalition webpage »
BAYSIDE, CA —Chief Judge Abby Abinanti of the Yurok Tribe, a longtime advocate for the creation of tribal value-based tribal justice systems, is the newest board member for Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF).
"We are beyond thrilled to have Judge Abby join the Humboldt Area Foundation's board," says Mary Keehn, chairperson of the HAF board. "Her experience with state and tribal justice systems and her unique approach to community building are going to be tremendous assets as we move forward with the board's strategic vision. This will be a great benefit for our communities and a big step toward uniting the broad region Humboldt Area Foundation serves."
Abby Abinanti, Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court and a Judge for Joint Family Wellness Courts, is the newest member of the Humboldt Area Foundation. Photo Courtesy Matt Mais / Yurok Tribe.
Abinanti built the Yurok Tribal Court and its many programs from the ground up. Rooted in traditional cultural values, the cutting-edge court seeks to provide justice and life-changing services to people often failed by the conventional criminal justice system. A retired San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner and lifelong supporter of Native American rights, Abinanti is currently the Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court and a Judge for Joint Family Wellness Courts in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. In these roles, she has positively influenced the lives of many local community members.
“First, I want to thank everyone on the Humboldt Area Foundation’s board for their kind welcome. I am looking forward to working with the board to imagine new ways to support all members of our community. I am excited to begin taking actions that benefit our shared communities for the long term,” says Abinanti.
Del Norte County resident and HAF board member David Finigan said Abinanti’s background is ideal for the board’s strategic objectives.
"Her experience in the Del Norte County region and Tribal Lands are sure to bolster the Foundation's mission of leadership and inclusion,” said Finigan, who is also a board member for Wild Rivers Community Foundation, an affiliate of HAF. “I look forward to working with her to address vital community issues."
Abby Abinanti, Yurok Chief Judge, is an enrolled Yurok Tribal member. She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of New Mexico School of Law and was the first California tribal woman to be admitted to the State Bar of California. She was a State Judicial Officer (Commissioner) for the San Francisco Superior Court for over 17 years, assigned to the Unified Family Court (Family/Dependency/Delinquency).
Abinanti retired from the Superior Court in September 2011 and, on July 31, 2014, was reappointed as a part-time Commissioner for San Francisco assigned to Dependency, and Duty Judge for that Court, where she served until 2015. She has been a Yurok Tribal Court Judge since 1997 and was appointed Chief Tribal Court Judge in 2007, a position she held in conjunction with her Superior Court assignment until 2015.
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry, and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation, please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Photo caption: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has designed an area off the coast of Humboldt Bay, seen here, as the Humboldt Wind Energy Area. The agency formally announced the designation in July, 2021, and is currently conducting a required environmental review of the area.
A new initiative, the Redwood Region Climate and Community Resilience Hub (“CORE Hub”), has launched from the Humboldt Area Foundation/Wild Rivers Community Foundation to help improve local resilience across built and natural systems. By deepening regional cooperation the CORE Hub is poised to develop equitable solutions to address growing climate emergencies.
The CORE Hub formed to help bring new resources to this region to reduce the many impacts of the climate emergency, and lower the emissions that cause climate change at the same time. An overall goal of the CORE Hub is to investigate how the Redwood Region can become the first proven carbon-sequestering rural area in the U.S. by 2030, while increasing equitable outcomes as progress is made. This 8-year initiative will align emission reductions across tribal and local governments’ activities, public and private land and resource use, built and natural systems, and other sectors.
By prioritizing communities that are under-resourced to more fully participate in solutions and decisions, the CORE Hub hopes to accelerate broad resilience across the Redwood Region, including transitions to clean energy and transportation.
An immediate CORE Hub project is a series of briefings on offshore wind (OSW) energy development, prioritizing under-represented, under-resourced communities with supports to participate. This follows a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the process to license offshore wind production on the Pacific Coast. The CORE Hub will devote funding, coordination, research, and other community participation resources to help investigate offshore wind energy development in the region.
Photo caption: Floating wind turbines like these off the coast of Portugal could be part of an offshore wind power installation in the waters off of Humboldt Bay, California. Photo courtesy of Principle Power.
This project has received the support of U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman, who believes the hub is a “powerful example of the community’s desire to move away from fossil fuels — and I’m looking forward to it shaping this development process.”
The region is home to many Native American sovereign tribal nations and indigenous cultures, and the CORE Hub specifically invests in tribal expertise, to increase partnerships with tribes in climate and community resilience. The CORE Hub has begun dialogues with the region’s Native American Tribes and communities to seek their direct input, sovereign decision-making, and increased collaboration in offshore wind energy and overall climate resilience.
“The Biden Administration’s efforts to pursue offshore wind energy development is a tremendous opportunity for the North Coast — and can only be achieved with frequent and robust community engagement,” Huffman said.
Mike Wilson, Humboldt County Supervisor for the Third District, and CORE Hub advisory council member views the CORE Hub work as essential to the resilience improvements the region needs to undertake. “Our need is to collectively increase our understanding of the situation we are in with respect to climate change, the emergencies we are facing now, and the impacts to come, and work together on what we can do about it,” Wilson said. “We need resources to dedicate time to talk with each other with access to information that makes that talk – and the decisions that come out of it – well informed and more productive.”
CORE Hub co-founder Bryna Lipper, and CEO of the Humboldt Area Foundation, said the formation and mission of the CORE Hub fits perfectly into HAF’s decades-long legacy of intensive community and social development initiatives in the region. “These investments spur collaboration and local leadership, and promote the extraordinary innovation of our region,” Lipper said. “The CORE Hub initiative continues this legacy and is a deep commitment toward HAF’s new goals of Healthy Ecosystems and Environment, Racial Equity and A Just Economy.”
The CORE Hub helps locate and deploy resources for capacity and technical assistance for tribal and local governments, community-based and non-profit organizations, and others to help accelerate implementation and collaboration across the region’s portfolio of climate and community resilience initiatives. The CORE Hub also facilitates access to trusted experts, data, and research. The technical analysis for the 2030 carbon negative goal will include equity metrics, carbon lifecycles, and research of opportunities for additional sequestration of carbon in land management, in building materials, and by other means. Where applicable, it will draw from existing regional and local planning efforts and climate goals. From there, the effort will create a replicable recipe for rural areas to assess their regional carbon sequestration profile, with methods to prove climate goals and make decisions about how to achieve them.
“The Biden Administration’s efforts to pursue offshore wind energy development is a tremendous opportunity for the North Coast — and can only be achieved with frequent and robust community engagement." - Rep. Jared Huffman, Calif.
“Engagement efforts include funding for convenings, workshops, and the sharing of knowledge, ideas and goals,” said CORE Hub advisory council member Arne Jacobson, who is also director of the Schatz Energy Research Center and a professor of Environmental Resources Engineering at Humboldt State University. “Over the coming decade, our region and the world need to make a rapid transition to an energy system that is clean, resilient and more equitable,” Jacobson said. “To navigate this transition successfully here, we will need to engage in inclusive and informed dialogue across the region’s multiple communities.”
Other developments are underway in the region, including Humboldt State University’s proposed transition to become California’s third polytechnic university which expands research and educational opportunities and new housing, a large-capacity broadband cable connecting the North Coast to Asia and other areas of the U.S., with corresponding implications for economic development, and related businesses such as data centers, and Humboldt Bay port revitalization, which could include becoming a West Coast hub for offshore wind, among many others. All these have climate and community resilience intersections and emissions profiles.
These new developments take place in one of the world’s most significant ecosystems. For example, the region’s ancient old growth and second growth redwood forests are estimated to absorb more than 600 million metric tons of carbon, or the capacity to sequester nearly 10 percent of the United States’ carbon emissions. However, these forests — and surrounding communities — are now in jeopardy because of heat gain, wildfires and other climate-amplified threats.
At the same time, the region is managing the fastest rate of sea level rise in California, recorded at three times higher than the global rate (due to land subsidence), with associated groundwater inundation. It also experiences high earthquake and tsunami risk, and tenuous connections to both electrical and natural gas grids.
Central to managing the climate crisis while strengthening the economy and infrastructure is supporting well-informed community collaboration that guides projects and policies at their earliest formative stages and throughout their life cycles. “Addressing the climate crisis is a major technological challenge, but we also have to develop and implement a range of powerful community, economic, and social systems and solutions if we are to be successful in advancing this effort with the urgency required,” said Matthew Marshall, CORE Hub Advisory Council member, and Executive Director of the Redwood Coast Energy Authority. “The CORE Hub is just the initiative needed to engage our entire community in a broad and meaningful way to catalyze and accelerate our transition to an equitable, prosperous, and sustainable clean energy-based future.”
This region has launched other sustainability innovations, including tribal cultural and prescribed fire to reduce wildfire risk, solar energy, electric and hydrogen transportation, salmon stronghold watersheds, long range water planning, forest carbon sequestration projects, climate action planning, sea level rise analysis, early and ongoing OSW research, and robust community engagement. “Significant efforts to mitigate climate and regional risks, make our infrastructure more resilient, and transition to be emission-free or carbon-absorbing are already underway,” said Jana Ganion, CORE Hub advisory council member and Sustainability and Government Affairs Director for the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe. “The CORE Hub was formed to help further de-silo and align these efforts, include more under-represented communities in the process, and accelerate progress by working together.” Ganion is serving as the launch lead of the initiative, bringing policy and partnerships experience in energy and climate resilience sectors to help achieve CORE Hub objectives.
For more information, please visit redwoodcorehub.org or contact email@example.com.
BAYSIDE, CA (APRIL 3, 2020) – The first grants from the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, totaling $195,920, are going to eighteen organizations in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties to help our communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Fund was launched on March 20, by Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate the Wild Rivers Community Foundation in Del Norte County. With additional support from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation, the fund started with $150,000. During the first two weeks, over 55 individual contributions and donor pledges have grown the fund to more than $285,000.
“Every one of our board members has given to the fund,” said CEO Bryna Lipper. “We live in a generous community and think $1 million is within our reach. It will help thousands of people,” Lipper said.
To encourage giving to the fund, HAF is taking no administrative fees, with 100% of every gift going to grants.
HAF’s areas of focus in awarding grants from the fund includes seniors, people with compromised immune systems, homeless, first-responders and Native communities.
In making the grants, HAF is using a streamlined review process that does not burden area nonprofits during this difficult time with a lengthy application process.
Sara Dronkers, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Resources said, “Our team is reaching out daily to area nonprofits, public agencies, businesses, civic leaders and Native communities from Garberville to Weaverville to Hoopa, Crescent City and Brookings, Oregon to help us target our grants to charitable organizations on the front lines of service.”
Grants from the COVID-19 Fund are just one tool HAF is utilizing to meet the current crisis. Other resources being mobilized include loans to nonprofits, grants from other funds, fundraising from partner foundations and community leadership activities to bring partners together for action.
The first grants made from the fund (as of April 2) are:
· United Indian Health Services, $18,200, to get food and meals to 1,300 elders in local Native communities during the coronavirus and during a gap in federal funding.
· The Wiyot Tribe, $1,000, for extra hygiene, cleaning and pet supplies for elders.
· The Yurok Tribe, $20,000, to provide additional hygiene packages, food delivery and firewood to tribal members, including 900 elders and 500 at-risk youth.
· 211 Humboldt, $2,000, to the Mother Women Rising Support Group for extra help for clients as a result of the coronavirus.
· Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, $5,000, for additional general operating support for homeless services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Arcata House Partnership, $4,000, for facility improvements to maintain health, safety and physical distancing during the coronavirus.
· Cooperation Humboldt, $5,000, for their COVID-19 Response Coalition and $2,000 for the Humboldt Parent Hive Childcare Co-op.
· Del Norte Mission Possible, $10,000, for increased program and management support needed to address the coronavirus.
· Eureka Rescue Mission, $10,000, to help meet an increased demand for services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Family Resource Center of the Redwoods, $10,000, for its food pantry facing increased demands during the coronavirus.
· Food for People, $18,000, to respond to increased COVID-19 related demands on the organization.
· Gold Beach Senior Center, $10,000, to help with increased food distribution needs in Gold Beach and Port Orford, Oregon due to the coronavirus.
· Healy Senior Center, Redway, $15,000, to maintain and expand program operations and staffing for senior services during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Bay Firefighters Local 652, $15,300, to purchase reusable medical Personal Protection Equipment jackets for first responders needed to protect them and the public during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Family Services Center, $6,000, for virtual counseling for struggling families sheltering in place during the coronavirus.
· Southern Humboldt Housing Opportunities, $12,420, for two weeks of motel rooms for homeless people made vulnerable during the coronavirus and additional meals for other homeless individuals.
· Transitional Residential Treatment Facilities, $20,000, to support the shelter in place operations for 25 mentally ill individuals.
· Trinity Community Food Outreach, $10,000, for an additional food storage unit for the county’s food bank in Weaverville, along with funds for seven pantries to purchase perishables not available through government programs.
Contributions, small or large, can be made to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund online at hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19 or by mailing checks to HAF at 363 Indianola Rd, Bayside, CA 95524. For more info call (707) 442-2993.
Broadband internet access remains out of reach for many. But during the last 16 months, the Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have been supporting tech access throughout the region with more than $623,000 in technology grants from the foundations’ COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.
Getting more folks connected to the internet is critical. Why? Access to the internet means access to work, access to school, health resources, and so many other things. It’s so deeply integrated into our society that those without access are at an immediate sociological disadvantage. In fact, in 2016, the United Nations added the freedom to express oneself on the internet to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include human right,
Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center shared its findings from the 2021 Mobile Technology and Home Broadband report. While the report finds that the majority of Americans are connected to high-speed internet, still 38 percent of rural households remain without reliable broadband internet. Thousands of those folks are living in Curry, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties without advanced internet connections as the on-going COVID-19 pandemic transforms school and work life for many. HAF and WRCF are committed to closing the technology gap among families in need of tech access.
Within a week of California and Oregon’s 2020 statewide shelter-in-place orders, HAF and WRCF created the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, which grew to $3,397,339 thanks to generous contributions from our donors and funders.
The response money also included a special COVID technology fund, designed to support the community as work and school shifted online. Since its inception, HAF and WRCF have partnered with local school districts, Tribal governments, nonprofits, and individuals, with more than 63 technology grants distributed as of this writing.
Two things became clear as the foundations distributed the funds. First, in rural areas, people can be hard to connect to for many reasons, whether that’s due to technology access, remoteness, or personal choice. Second, communities of color suffer the most and local health officials have collected ample evidence that Native American and Latinx communities were particularly hard hit with a disproportionate number of positive COVID-19 cases. It seems communities most impacted by COVID-19 are often the same people who lack access to suitable internet technology.
Here are some recent highlight grants that HAF and WRCF have made to boost tech access and ensure our community members could make the transition to online working and learning:
● A recent $12,500 grant to the Wiyot Tribe will help residents connect to SpaceX’s satellite-based Starlink internet service. This satellite-based internet service will connect Wiyot community members who are otherwise unreachable by other Internet providers.
● The foundation supported the Hoopa Valley’s Tribal TANF with $5,000 for iPads and internet connectivity so expectant parents could continue to take Motherhood is Sacred/Fatherhood is Sacred parenting classes when quarantine restrictions meant meeting in person wasn’t an option.
● Over the last 15 months, more than 250 Chromebooks, iPads and other computers have been given to individuals and nonprofits.
As part of the foundation's 10 year strategic vision, HAF and WRCF are committed to addressing the issues around broadband internet access, and technology grants are just one way to achieve that goal. The Foundations’ strategic plan envisions “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region,” which is supported by four goal areas:
● Racial Equity
● Healthy Ecosystems
● Thriving Youth and Families
● A Just Economy and Economic Development
When youth and families thrive, we all thrive. That’s why supporting ‘thriving youth and families’ is one of HAF+WRCF’s goal areas. In the early days of the pandemic, HAF and WRCF granted more than $23,000 to the Humboldt County Office of Education, the Trinity Alps Unified School District, and the Fortuna Union School District to provide dozens of hotspots and tech supplies to families throughout the foundation’s service region.
For too long, our neighbors in the underserved remote communities in Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, and Curry counties have been excluded from the current technology revolution because they can’t rely on a cellular phone, let alone a broadband internet connection. These disparities are even more drastic when it comes to access for Native communities. HAF and WRCF also consider addressing issues around racial equity as a top goal, and recent grants are ensuring underserved communities can close technology gaps.
Organizations like Central De Pueblo and the Seventh Generation Fund work closely with our BIPOC community members, but like many nonprofits, these groups saw many challenges as they grappled with COVID. HAF and WRCF helped these groups meet basic technology needs with a $9,000 grant for tech and office supplies to support this online transition. Other groups that serve historically marginalized populations have received funding for telehealth technology, remote work stations, and much more (Read more about the transitions and challenges these nonprofits faced during the pandemic in our State of the Sector Report).
Of course, the technology gap won’t close with the end of the pandemic. HAF and WRCF remain committed to addressing these technology and connectivity needs through innovative partnerships with our local community members, especially when closing the technology gap can help create “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region.”
BAYSIDE, CALIF. (Aug. 23, 2021) – Community members are invited to apply for grants through the Trinity Trust’s Community Response Grant Program by Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Community Response Grants are designed to help projects where a small investment can make a lasting difference. Additional guidelines are available on the grant application, which can be found at https://www.hafoundation.org/Affiliates-Region/Trinity-Trust/Grants#CRC.
About the Trinity Trust
The Trinity Trust was created by the residents of Trinity County California to improve the quality of life in their region and to keep the local capital local and working for the benefit of the community. The Trinity Trust strives to be a leader in communicating the value of keeping local resources and capital within the Trinity County region to support our community’s diverse array of organizations and issues.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.