Coastal Sonoma County in California was once settled by the Native American Kashia band of the Pomo tribe, yet they haven’t been able to call it home for 200 years. That is, until now. The current owner of the property near Stewart’s Point has entered an agreement to sell the 700-acre, mile-long stretch of coast back to the Kashia, with the help of $2 million pledged by county leaders and a variety of coalitions, including the Trust For Public Land.
The land, much like the region pictured above, is currently owned by Bill Richardson, who says the scenic region has been in his family’s name since 1925. The agreement allows Richardson to live out the rest of his days in his family’s home, which will eventually be converted into a museum. The open space designation of the property will allow Kashia tribesmen and women to come and go as they please for ceremonies, without having to ask permission.
Walter Antone reminisces about the days his father would take him to the region’s cliffs – with permission – where his ancestors once lived off the land. Tribal members are known to have to sneak onto the property to perform coming-of-age rituals and are pleased to have the sacred grounds returned to them. Antone says, “I feel like we got something back finally. After all these years.”