The Yurok Tribe, in collaboration with national and state parks, are releasing two condors on Tuesday in Northern California’s redwoods. They’ll be the first to take flight in the region since the late 1800s.
The effort has been underway by the tribe since 2008. For the Yurok Tribe, the recovery of the species is part of restoration of the ecosystem and for the people responsible for taking care of it.
The condor plays a principal role in the Yurok creation story and is prominently featured in the tribe’s White Deerskin Dance and Jump Dance.
Yurok Wildlife Department Director Tiana Williams-Claussen, in a video message, shares the importance of the restoration for future generations, including for her young daughter.
“She is going to grow up with condors in her sky for her entire life. She is not going to know what it is to miss condors. She will always live in relationship with condors, which is really what this project is all about — bringing condor home, back into our communities, back into our conversations, back into our households, and into the minds and hearts of our children on behalf of the hearts of our elders.”
The condors are voluntarily entering a designated staging area with access to the outside world. If the birds do not enter the transition zone by late afternoon a second attempt to release the birds will occur on Wednesday. The carefully designed release procedure is part of a comprehensive management plan for the reintroduction. Two more condors will be released at a later date.
The New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Force is holding an awareness event on Thursday. May 5th is recognized across the country as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. The group has been meeting virtually due to COVID-19 precautions.
Thursday’s event will take place in-person in Albuquerque. Members of the task force will discuss their response plan for the state.
Cabinet Secretary of Indian Affairs Lynn Trujillo talked about the importance of the May 5th awareness event during a task force meeting in April.
“To listen to our communities, to reflect on our work, our accomplishments and celebrate that and then continue to look forward and think about to what’s next for all of us.”
The task force was established in 2019 to address the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives. Members have since released findings and recommendations to the state’s governor and lawmakers.
In California, tribal leaders, lawmakers, and the state Department of Justice will discuss violence against Native Americans at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday. They’ll take part in a press conference and legislative hearing to share what actions are being taken to reduce and solve violence against California Native Americans, particularly women and girls.
Assembly members James Ramos, chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs, and Cristina Garcia will host the news event in the morning on capitol steps.
Later in the day, the two lawmakers will chair a joint informational hearing on the issue. The hearing is expected to include testimony from law enforcement, tribal leaders and advocates.
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