Protesters Tell Rob Arkley That Indian Island Should Be Returned to the Wiyots

Protesters gather outside of Security National Servicing Corp on 5th Street in Eureka today protesting remarks by its president, Rob Arkley. [Photo by Karli Anagnost]

At approximately 4 p.m., a crowd of protesters massed on the sidewalk outside of Security National Servicing Corp on 5th Street in Eureka. Natives and non-natives gathered to challenge remarks made by Rob Arkley on KINS radio questioning the City of Eureka’s planned return of Indian Island to the Wiyot Tribe.

The city had already returned a portion of the island to the tribe in 2004. After clearing away a large amount of trash, the tribe held its first World Renewal Ceremony in 2014 since February 1860 when the ceremony participants were massacred.

The Tribe and the city of Eureka have been in negotiations to return the rest of the island to the Wiyots. Arkley complained, ” I don’t get how they [the City Council] can take one of our assets and give it. So I’m going to be offering over the appraised value for the property.”

Local tribes were outraged. Multiple native groups wrote letters to the community–the Wiyot, the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, and the Tsurai Ancestral Society

Arkley later said he didn’t mean that he wanted to own the island for himself. He said,  “[W]e do not want to own it. We would rather preserve it for the entire community.”

Protest for Indian Island

[Photos by Stormy Taylor]

Protest for Indian Island

[Photos by Stormy Taylor]

Protest for Indian Island

[Photos by Stormy Taylor]




Protesters left notes for Rob Arkley.

Protesters left notes for Rob Arkley. [Photo by Stormy Taylor]

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41 comments

  • Nothing like a good old fashioned protest. I’m inspired when folks speak up of what’s important to them.
    America may have its faults, but it’s still good– and so are the people.

  • Another day another protest by the left. But maybe Arkley has one point correct, I didn’t think governments could just give away government property like that.

    • You mean stolen land? The wiyots deserve the land back, and also I’m pretty sure if the government took your property, you’d be pretty upset. I support this protest.

      • Thank you. This is our tribes land

      • It wasnt stolen, it was lost. As with all land, up until the end of ww2 . Simply because this was more recent then other times doesnt change the laws nor the results. I am not saying it wasnt horrible what took place, but face it lost battle, end of story

        • Antichrist-It was stolen. There was no battle. Unless you call the Massacre of women, children & elders a battle, while the actual warriors, were away hunting.

        • Make your world better through genocide

          During the early morning hours of 26 February 1860, the Wiyot people suffered from one of the most violent and brutal attacks ever in American history. Every year, at the end of February the Wiyots held a world renewal ceremony. This was one ring of five sacred dances performed by the Hupa, Yurok, Karuk, and Chilula. During the world renewal ceremony of the Wiyot people, which consisted of several days of dances, five or six white settlers crept upon the island armed with firearms, clubs, hatchets, and knifes. For about an hour, the group of men hunted down, killed, and mutilated every human being they could find. Only four or five Wiyots, including a baby, survived when the town folk of Eureka and Union (Arcata) were lured to the island located in the Humboldt
          Bay by fire and smoke. The majority of the lifeless bodies found were of women and children.

          • Pitching our tents in the valley of death, is an insult to Father Sun, Mother Earth, Sister Moon and all others who make the full circle of life.
            We are to learn from the past, not dwell in it.
            We are supposed to walk through to the other side, with Father Sun sanitizing our hearts, minds and spirits.
            When we pitch a tent in the valley of darkness, time will catch us there. Time always repeats itself. Always.
            Love, respect, knowledge, and appreciation for all our Spiritual guides, creates balance.

      • In that case the entire country is stolen, the Indians used to have it all

        • But, recently they have proved that isnt the case, how far are we supposed to go back to determine who really had it first ? If a person robs a bank, then someone else robs them did the first robber own that which was stolen from the bank ? Oh now we have to ask what if the bank stole that which was stolen, whos is it anyway ?

        • The indians never owned this county never. They were small bands of people with no land claim just packs of un educated people living off the land. At best they could claim to own 5% of the county. Beyond that they never had enough people to secure any claim they tryed to make plus they were not an advanced people then or now. If you cannot defend something tha you loose it. The indians could never defend there land thus making them squatters untill anyone with a little power came and took it rightfully. Nature rewards the strong and punishes the backwards and weak.

          • Depends on what your definition of backward and weak is.

            By your definition, if an alien race came here and destroyed most of us with an otherworldly disease before actually taking our land, they are justified because we weren’t as strong as they are.

          • When you wake up and smell your self in the morning is it the fact that you still have to look at your face in the mirror to understand why your envy reached you to feel so towards the best looking local race of all, I wonder if it is because were the only actual local race that is native to this land regardless of whom owns it. Envy is a excuse for hate . so get over it, we already own it.

          • People like you is why there is such Hatred
            You feel the fighting now? Ignorance is everywhere.

          • Make your world better through genocide

            Lynwood Carranco, local historian, describes the Indian Wars:
            Here in Humboldt County the Indians made but little resistance, yet were frequently killed for the most trivial of causes. Not only were there the occasional killing of small numbers of Indians, but between 1850 and 1873 a considerable number of slaughters, either by state troops or by unauthorized ‘volunteer companies’, occurred on such a scale as to be dignified by the term of ‘Indian Wars.

          • Hey Joe! Please educate yourself before you speak to items of your interest that you have no knowledge about! Your ignorance is rampant and you are a prime example of that! Ownership was not a necessity in maintaining the land and its inhabitants that chose to live in harmony with all that existed! My ancestors were very organized and civilized and we continue to be today! Your statement of “just packs of un educated people living off the land”, sounds more like a description of the majority of miners and then the soldiers that bombarded Northern California in the mid 1800’s raping and piligeing the indigenous people’s along the way! The soldiers were brought in because my ancestors were doing a great job of taking care of business with the savage miners! The indigenous populations were very large and the villages were many through out Northern California until the government had to step in to protect their settlers and make agreements! “In exchange for land which Americans currently reside, the federal government took on a political and legally enforceable fiduciary obligation on part of the United States to protect tribal treaty rights, lands, assets, and resources, as well as, a duty to carry out the mandates of federal law with respect to tribes when they dispossessed Native peoples of their homelands.” The United States has broken the majority of the treaties but the tribes will continue to hold the US Government accountable for their written agreements! Too bad you have to hide behind a nick name, therefor I guess I can assume you are ashamed of who you are while attempting to be straight up with your statements!

    • It belongs to our tribe. Our people were massacred on that island

      • Yes, it does.

        Thanks for standing up, JB. I support you and yours in this cause.
        And I hope this protest continues tomorrow because I will be there.

      • Yes , they were yet here you are. It is sad what happened then, but that land was lost, plan and simple. Often through out history victor would wipe out all existiance of those they fought against, others would just kill the males and sell the females as slaves, others still sold off the males as slaves to other lands, yet here you are. I am by no means attempting to degrade the horrible past in this reguard, merely stating it as many see it. Should we remove israel ? Give that land back as well ?

      • What do y’all want to put a casino there and profit off it? Everyone is just a bunch of haters when it comes to arkley. He’s done a lot of amazing things for this community, more then if most of you hating had his type of money. I say we let him buy it to preserve it. Last thing we need it another casino.

      • So by your logic, if my brother comes over to your house and is murdered, I get your house?

        I understand the history of this land, and the horrific things that happened there, but that doesn’t give the tribe a right to the property. They can offer to buy it from the city the same as Arkley, or anyone else can.

    • The LEFT?? What does this have to do with any political leaning?
      You’re either ignorant or confused. This is the original residents, who lived here
      long before there was a left or right, or you or me, asking for their stolen property
      to be returned. The city is actually on the verge of doing the right thing.

      • So what about your property?

        When are you giving it back?

        Do we give up all of Eureka or just this one island?

        Where does it end?

        • Ahh the ‘ol slippery slope argument.

        • Who’s this “we?” Are you the city if Eureka?

          • Yes, if you are a tax paying Eureka resident, you are considered “WE”, where do you think the city gets money from? I know they don’t act like it, but politicians or so called government leaders are suppose to represent the tax paying public.

            • You’d rather sell it to the same deadbeat profiteer that’s held the balloon track hostage for decades? Rob Arkley is Floyd Squires on steroids. Let’s give the island back to someone who appriciates its cultural signifigance.

        • Ah, Semper Fi, you purport to be a marine so no doubt you know a little about killing innocents and stealing their land.

          The real question is where did it begin.

      • Not confused, just plain ignorant.

    • Returning stolen land to its rightful owner, is not giving away “government@ land.

  • The land will be useless in 10 years due to the – wait wait wait-ok-global warming and the rising sea level. Let’s do like Flemming on tidal flats. We can build a Wiyot whumpom store on the sites. Nope, let’s do a casino!!!!

  • The tribe owes back taxes on the land just like any other working American, oh yeah I forgot your exempt, how did that slip my mind,maybe cause were talking about something that happened over a hundred years ago, let go of the hate ,sheesh, everyone that was involved is dead ,ridiculous, find another excuse

    • Will there be a Nuremberg like Trials? We were just following orders cries the Buffalo Soldiers.
      No good can come from this fight. Is that the goal?

  • Arkley has the desire, knowledge and funds to preserve and protect it. He has a proven record for accomplishing his goals through community support and hard work. He wishes to dedicate the island to the community, in respect for all.
    The Natives wish to re-own it for their own purposes. The community need not bother itself with it. The community is evil and wicked.
    I’m torn.

    • Disclaimer: Shak also believes that cigarettes are good for you and that there is a government conspiricy to outlaw tomatoes.

      • Thank you for offering yet another opportunity for me to expose the evils of the particles floating in the smoky air from the forest fires, that is known as TAR. It is the TAR and the smoke that kills the living cells and causes other cells to weaken and turn form into cancerous cells. Personally, I find it inexcusable for the health officials and the school puppets to not alert the community to the terrible dangers it imposes. I find it deplorable that they have not taken the proper measures to protect our young while in their watch. Proper HVAQ systems would help to protect from the seasonal events.
        Thank you, also, for offering yet another opportunity for me to expose the secrets of a drug that has proven to be beneficial to many. In some studies, it has been shown that it multiplies thriving living cells in the magnitudes! One study showed they increased 110%, an amazing and exciting sight to behold. This beneficial drug has been called a miracle drug for many years, but the public will never know the truths, because they only hear the propaganda. This drug comes to us in many ways, and can be taken many ways. Smoking is not the best way to use it, as smoke has been proven to kill living cells.
        The drug, is nicotine.
        Thanks Jack, for this opportunity. Hopefully those with a caring heart will protest for proper HVAQ and hepa-filter systems for public schools, work and even homes. At least they will be in the know before the next fire season hits.

  • The land is theirs give it back! I am sorry but those that think any other way are clearly endorsing the genocide of women and children while they slept. It is more like murder for hire as the government often payed for native people to be killed after the fact endorsing these acts while pretending they were not. Stop defending this behavior! It was and still is a crime.

  • I support returning this sacred land to the Wyot. It is only a tiny portion of what was taken from them…lives and sacred objects…why would any compassionate person begrudge this. It may save us all through the karmic wheel.

  • shawn the fisherman

    Why dont the natives take it back? Take it the same way it was taken from them? Why not? Good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Yikes what a hot topic😎

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