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A Step Towards Healing and Restoration: California to Support the Return of Ancestral Tribal Lands

“Today marks a pivotal moment in our journey towards healing and reconciliation,” said Chairman Kevin Osuna, Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel. “This award is not merely a financial contribution; it is a symbol of solidarity, a recognition of our inherent rights, and a commitment to stewarding our ancestral lands. With these funds, we will not only secure the physical boundaries of our land but also lay the foundation for a future where our children, grandchildren and local communities can thrive, rooted in the strength of our heritage. The Tribal Nature-Based Solutions are engrained in our traditional ways of life, and we are eternally grateful for the opportunity, as generational healing requires more than just the restitution of land; it demands the restoration of dignity, the preservation of culture, and the empowerment of our people. Let us remember those who came before us, whose sacrifices paved the way for this moment. Let us also honor our descendants, whose futures we hold in our hands. As traditional stewards, our tribe looks forward to welcoming the general public to experience the beauty, wonder, and wisdom of our ancestral homelands. Eyaay Ahan.”

As part of an ongoing truth and healing process, California is supporting the return of over 38,000 acres of ancestral land to tribal stewardship and advancing nature-based solutions projects on tribal lands. The Governor of California has worked collaboratively with tribes to establish the historic Tribal Nature-Based Solutions grant program. Designed to support tribal priorities- as determined by the tribes themselves - grants can be used for ancestral land return, restoration, workforce development, implementation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and tribal expertise, habitat restoration and climate and wildfire resilience projects.

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