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Declaration of Emergency by the Round Valley Indian Tribes

April 17, 2023
TO: All Appropriate Agencies- Bureau of Indian Affairs; Mendocino County Sheriff's Dept.; Assemblyman Ramos

The Round Valley Tribal Council, governing body for the Round Valley Indian Tribes declares on this day, the 16th of April, 2023 a State of Emergency due to the increase in criminal activity on the reservation, including two homicides, in brutality, of tribal members on the Round Valley Indian Tribes' historic territory within the last month. Per the constitution the of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, it is the Round Valley Tribal Council's duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its members.

Due to recent events, our certainty of this right, assurance of reasonable safety measures is in question and we must act with urgency. This action calls on our partnership with Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), and the state of California to ensure the human rights, equality, and democracy as citizens whether on or off the reservation of which a tribal member resides, is in fact intact. As the United States declares we are not just neighbors and partners but that our people share bonds of family and friendship and value- above al else- freedom, justice, human rights, equality, and democracy and that this is the American DNA.

So we, the citizens of Round Valley Indian Tribes, therefore, proclaim the same including all tribal nations, our first people, Indigenous people, the tribal communities of this land even more so as we are the very fibers of that DNA. The survival of the first colonists unto this great nation was supported by the NativeAmerican 600 years ago and counting. Now we, Round Valley Indian Tribes, seek the same support for survival. The imposition of the reservation and all the epidemics that followed created a melting pot of tragedy which had plagued our tribal communities throughout history and to today. Our reservation way of life, such as Round Valley's, is a sacrifice we still pay. Native American lives are still given in battle and in other ways the sustainability of this nation depends, but today it is also by our culture being lost, languages dying, and the land on which we live- our resources decimated in the form of water diversions killing our fish and food sources. We struggle to maintain our ways of life, to live in peace and harmony with each other despite all that has been lost through the generations. Today, we seek a return on our investment throughout history and culture of colonization.

The President of the United States has stated that, "In partnership withIndigenous Peoples, we will promote innovative and sustainable solutions that honor traditional knowledge...We will continue our cooperation to build societies where Indigenous women and girls can live, learn, and lead without fear...on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls. Today Round Valley Indian Tribes are calling on this action to be truth.

We seek to call on all Indian Nations and tribes of California to band together for the sake of our communities ensuring these values attested to by our governments inwhich we exist (i.e. County, state, and nation) are fulfilled and true to the highest extent as every other American.

Currently, it takes MCSO an hour and a half to two hours to report to call in Round Valley/Covelo due to its remote location. In conjunction with tribal police, our tribal officers can only enforce our civil laws code, but cannot make any arrests, thus leaving our community under a significant lack of police protection even under P.L. 280.

The Tribes' emergency declaration will reaffirm similar emergencies that have happened over the years with unsolved cases, one of which to mention is that of Kadijah Britton (2018), and other unsolved murders of other Round Valley tribal members including but not limited to a rash of burglaries, drugs, thefts, and human trafficking.

The Tribe acknowledges that there are criminal activities happening on the reservation and needs assistance from local, state and federal agencies.

The Tribe is proposing an emergency declaration, not only due to the recent homicides, but the increase of other illegal activity on the reservation as a whole and it seems our valley is becoming lawless.

NOW THEREFORE, be it stated that the Round Valley Tribal Council held an emergency meeting on April 16, 2023 and hereby has declared a state of emergency on the Round Valley Indian Reservation and Community, as per the Constitution of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, Article V- Powers of the Tribal Council Section 1, (a) to represent the Tribe and act in all matters that concern the welfare ofthe Tribe.


Randall Britton, President

Round Valley Indian Tribes

Xc: Bureau of Indian Affairs

Sheriff, Mendocino County

Assemblyman Ramos

Click or tap the button to download a signed copy of this declaration: Download