As chairperson of the Eureka High School Native American Club, I wish to express our gratitude for printing the article “Grave Matters” in the North Coast Journal (June 18). The desecration of graves is as old as time itself. No civilization has been immune to the ravages of robbers who wish to profit from others. Who better to steal from than a dead person — one that cannot fight, one that cannot bring to justice a thief who has no morals.
I was surprised to learn some new things about the desecration of graves. I was unaware of the extent to which graverobbing has been condoned in Humboldt County. I did not know that political leaders, civic leaders and members of academic standing in Humboldt’s history were also involved in grave robbing. It seems that no one is immune to the temptation of easy money that one can make from the sale of grave goods.
Finally something is being done, I have heard of the new coalition — The Coalition to Protect Yurok Cultural Legacies at O-pyúweg (Big Lagoon) — forming to battle the mindset of past generations. Maybe now the local Native American remains and artifacts will return home to their respected resting place.
Again, thank you. The Native American Club was pleased with the article.
Brian Louis Gonzalez, Chairperson, Eureka High School Native American Club