California Tribes Work Together to Rebuild Economy

California Tribes Work Together to Rebuild Economy

Since the pandemic began earlier this year, a lot of negativity has been in the air.

Not only are spirits down, but many people are truly struggling to stay afloat. Bills are unable to be paid due to so many people being out of work and with family-owned businesses being shut down, food and other necessities are scarce and hard to come by, and some with medical needs are finding it difficult to get the treatment they need.

It often seems as if certain Native communities are invisible to the government and the surrounding communities. Help just hasn’t come for many, and unfortunately, that doesn’t cause people to be hopeful. 

However, there is a group of individuals that is stepping up to bring their community and close-by neighbors physical and emotional assistance during this burdensome time. 

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Yurok Tribe have been working together closely and effectively to assist those in need.

The Yurok Tribe is the largest nation tribe in northern California. Not only has COVID-19 devastated Native communities this year, this particular tribe has suffered even more loss in 2020 when wildfires threatened their community. When this happened, those with San Manuel jumped in to provide donations, shelter, and basic needs, such as air purifiers and emergency radios to those who were displaced. 

Now the two communities are working together collaboratively to build each economy back up and help each other out during these hard times. 

The partnership consists of San Manuel’s quite popular casino serving the Yurok Tribe’s very own crafted ales from their Mad River Brewing Company, which is actually one of the first tribal-owned breweries in the United States. The brewery is based out of Blue Lake, California and the owners pride themselves in their sustainably-produced, high-quality options.

Image Credit: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

This example of intertribal commerce should mean increased business and income for both sides, especially those within the Yurok Tribe who are trying to overcome economic obstacles. 

Image Credit: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Workable intertribal trade can be a powerful expression of our sovereignty and our right to determine our own destiny,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman Ken Ramirez.

“Tribe to tribe commerce is the future. The Yurok Tribe and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are carving out possibilities and opportunities toward the restoration of economic resilience in our respective communities.”

San Manuel and the Yurok Tribe both plan on working together more in the near future on other endeavors, which should benefit both communities. 

It is wonderful to see Native people coming together in creative ways to build each other up. It can be easy to sink low, especially right now when things might look bleak around the holidays; but remember that there is always someone out there who cares and who can help you through your struggles. You are not alone and we all will get through this! 

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