UC-Berkeley Tree Protest Closes With Ceremony

October 3, 2008

Author: Shadi Rahimi

Source: Indian Country Today


After 649 days perched atop a redwood, the last tree-sitters surrendered their protest of University of California – Berkeley’s plan to chop down a tree grove to build a sports training center.

The world watched. As did such activists as Morning Star Gali, a Pit River member and community activist, with sadness and regret. It was not how she had hoped the standoff to end.

Gali and other Natives had been trying to negotiate with university officials. The old-growth tree grove was also the site of an Ohlone burial ground where UC-Berkeley anthropologists have documented evidence of two shell mound sites that contained 18 human remains.

The university is already a hotbed of contention among local Native tribes for continuing to house more than 17,000 sacred remains and objects in what Native groups charge is noncompliance of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.