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Lessons in Renewal

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I was deeply heartened to hear of the healing and renewal of the Wiyot people after such a horrendous history ("Renewal," March 20). It speaks volumes of their resilience. I send my heartfelt support as they rededicate their sacred presence on the land.

On the death penalty in California or anywhere ("A Capital Question," March 20): no state-sanctioned killing. Period and exclamation mark.

Lynn Kerman, Eureka


It was with tears of great joy that I read the people of the Wiyot will again dance the ceremony of world renewal. For this is a vital thread needed to strengthen the fabric we must weave to repair the tears in the tapestry of the life of this land and make it whole again.

May all of us, the first peoples of this land and, like me, immigrants of tribes long past from other lands, take a moment during this time of sacred ceremony to pray to whatever spirits that guide our soul, that we too may find a path of balance and harmony in healing the land we call our home. And let us also dance in remembrance and respect for the peoples of this land who once danced in ceremony each year but live on only in spirit.

As spoken by the shaman of the peoples of the Sinkyone, first peoples of my home, the Mattole, at the beginning of their world renewal ceremony: "We must sing and dance each year to make it right again."

Merlin Nelson, Petrolia


The fumbled apology to the Wiyot by the Eureka City Council ("Fumbled Apology," March 27) makes me wonder how much we could have learned from them. And as we are still incapable with our ways which replaced those of the Wiyot of even saying sorry our ancestors killed you all as you slept unawares, we prove in those 154 of our glorious years how little we've learned even from ourselves.

Kathryn Bergman, Arcata


As a resident of Eureka I would like to offer a formal apology to the Wiyot people for the atrocities inflicted upon their people by a group of white settlers on those fateful nights in 1860.

Ultimately a cowardly act carried out by aggression, bigotry and fear, it was a time in history that resulted in a "dark night" period for all the native peoples of the north coast. I can only imagine after the brutal, New Year's morning murder of Father Eric Freed and our community's reaction of shock, sadness and anger how it would have been if, in addition, 100 white women, children and elderly people had been brutally assaulted as well.

I wish the Wiyot people well in the rejuvenation and revival of their most sacred ceremony, the World Renewal Ceremony, and pray for their prosperous future.

Dennis Houghton, Eureka


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