By Sarahi Apaez
Ownership of the 270-acre Tuluwat Island, also known as Indian Island is being compromised. More than 100 people gathered in front of Rob Arkley’s place of business in Eureka, to show their support toward the Wiyot tribe’s fight.
The reason for protest comes from a KINS radio broadcast of Rob Arkley stating his intention to buy the island from the city as opposed to returning it to the Wiyot tribe. This is happening while the Eureka City Council and the Wiyot agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding, an agreement that is not legally binding, that states that the city commits to restoring the island to the tribe.
Protesters see this issue as a continuation of a battle the Wiyot tribe has been waging since the 1860 Wiyot Massacre in which white settlers murdered several hundred local tribe members. Tuluwat Island holds spiritual and cultural significance to the Wiyot tribe which cannot be replaced.
Assembly Director Allen McCloskey spoke on the microphone at the rally expressing his opinions of Arkley.
“The bigotry that he has exercised toward indigenous people we will not stand for that, not here in Eureka, not in our community, not in our County,” McCloskey said.