For generations, members of the Kashia band of the Pomo people have been landlocked. For the first time in 200 years, the coastal tribe will once again have unmitigated access to the sea.
NBC Bay Area shares the story:
Antone grew up not far away from the spot, on the 40 acre Kashia band of Pomo Indians reservation. By the time Antone was born, the Kashia had long been cut-off from their native coastal lands — a coastal tribe without access to the coast. As a boy, Antone's father had to ask permission of the land owners to access the same cliffs which once fed his ancestors. These days, tribal members sometimes snuck through the fences in order to conduct traditional coming-of-age ceremonies.
"Made me feel shutout," Antone said. "It's land where we used to go before but now you can't — we're fenced off."
But in a groundbreaking land sale, 700 acres of coastal lands will return soon to Kashia control for the first time in 200 years. Sonoma County leaders voted last week to pledge more than $2 million to a coalition of groups which have raised $6 million to purchase the one mile strip of coastal land from a private family, ensuring its future as open space.