Q’alya Ta Kukwis Shichdii Me
TCP Press Release July 2019
Click here for more information about the TCP
Click here to view the TCP-FAQ page
Reasons to Support the TCP
Click here to listen to the language pronunciation of Q'alya Ta Kukwis Shichdii Me
“Our efforts are a response to the Tribal Constitution, which states that the Tribal Government is established to perpetuate our unique tribal identify and to promote and protect that identity. The resources we seek to protect through this listing are central to the Coos tribe’s identity.” -Chief Warren Brainard
The Tribe has for many years considered significant portions of Coos Bay to be a Traditional Cultural Property (“TCP”). The Tribe has consistently maintained that the many cultural resources within the Bay should be considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. On July 31, 2006, the Tribe passed Resolution No. 06-097, which designated Jordan Cove and the surrounding area as a TCP. The Tribe reaffirmed this designation on July 29, 2015 in Resolution No. 15-049 and recently on May 19th. The efforts to protect the Bay culminated into the completion of a nomination for the Bay (Q’alya Ta Kukwis Shichdii Me) as a TCP, which after months of public comment, will be submitted to the National Park Service for consideration.
As part of the public process the community and other tribes have objected and raised concern to the TCP nomination. Our TCP nomination reflects the ongoing connection that Coos people have to Coos Bay. It is specific to the protection of resources associated with the Coos traditions and practices and not specific to any one Tribal Government. The nomination recognizes the endurance and perseverance of the Coos Tribal identity through decades of struggle and hardship.
As Tribal community members and employees of Tribes, we understand that cultural resource information is the foundation of our cultural protection work. We spend countless hours to keep that information and our resources secure—hundreds of thousands of dollars—directly and indirectly protecting our cultural patrimony. The TCP is no exception.
For our Tribe, the TCP nomination is an important step to further the goals of our Tribe. It requires federal agencies to honor their trust obligation and National Historic Preservation Act requirements, to protect important tribal resources in our region. This includes but is not limited to requiring federal consultation including with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Jordan Cove Energy Project) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Channel Modification Project). Our TCP requires the consultation process to occur with federal agencies, but it does not mandate a specific outcome. Rather it requires that the agency make a reasonable and good faith effort to work hand in hand with the Tribe to reduce impacts to cultural resources important to our beliefs and practices.
We have been outspoken advocates in our community for cultural resource protection for all tribes. We consistently speak at meetings at the local, state, and federal level advocating for protection of resources that are central to our cultural identity and are irreplaceable. Our TCP is not saying anything different. We have been sharing the concept of this TCP project at government meetings and in comments for a few years, at meetings in which other Tribes have been present. There has been sufficient opportunity to discuss this pursuit with our leadership or staff.
Recently, our leadership made reasonable and good efforts to answer questions and address concerns about the TCP nomination with Coquille Tribal Council. But meetings and processes cannot change the history of our removals and severing our way of life by the federal government. Nor does it change our respective paths to rebuilding our sovereignty within a system that does not align with our cultural values or priorities.
In a perfect world, tribes would share all of their cultural resource information with each other. If we are lucky, as we have been in the past, we will get to work together to protect these resources, and on specific projects, share information. We have invested a substantial amount of money to protect cultural resources and the product will benefit many tribes with Coos families enrolled. Protection of these resources are for the benefit of present and future tribal people living in this area for the next seven generations and more.
Top Photograph by Margaret Corvi. Lower three Photographs by Morgan Gaines