From WILL PARRISH
The Anderson Valley Advertiser
If you’re a First Nations tribe in Lake County, California, United States of America, you can provide 100 painstaking pages proving under the federal government’s own property laws that you own a piece of land, and the Board of Supervisors still vote against you on grounds of “protecting private property.”
It happened on September 6, 2011 in Lakeport — a date that will live in infamy in the oft-bloody annals of regional aboriginal-settler relations.
The land at issue is an island known traditionally as Elem Modun, now commonly referred to as Rattlesnake Island: the cultural and spiritual center of the Elem Pomo, who have lived in and around southeastern Clear Lake for at least 10,000 years. For 6,000 years of those years, if not far longer, Rattlesnake Island has been a burial grounds, site of several villages, and ceremonial area for the Elem. Archeologists have dated artifacts