Tribal Engagement

For more than five hundred years, Native communities across the Americas have demonstrated resilience and resistance in the face of violent efforts to separate them from their land, culture, and each other. Land Acknowledgment is a critical public intervention, a necessary step toward honoring Sovereign Nations and Native communities and enacting the much larger project of healing and reconciliation — also recognizing that aboriginal people, their tribal governments, and traditional communities are still here.

The rural towns and cities of the Rogue River Basin have been built on aboriginal land, and we pay tribute to the first, best stewards who have maintained the health and beauty of these lands through the careful stewardship of forests, waterways, fish, and wildlife until such trust was forcibly revoked. The “Cultural Beneficial and Traditional Uses” and protection of the natural resources continue today through collaborative partnerships and planning that includes Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK), supporting subsistence lifestyles, and elevating ecocultural restoration and sacred site protection with our tribal partners.

The Rogue Forest Partners acknowledge the ancestral lands of the tribes and Sovereign Nations that live in what is now called the Rogue River Basin of Oregon: including the original past, present and future aboriginal inhabitants of the Lower Rogue River Athabascan tribes, which include Shasta Costa, Tututni; Upper Rogue River Athabascan (Galice-Applegate) tribes, including: Taltushtuntede tribe (Galice Creek Area) and Dakubetede tribe (Applegate Area); Takelma tribes-Latgawa (Upland Takelma), Dagelma (Lowland or River Takelma); Shasta (non-federally recognized), and associated bands spanning the Middle Rogue ; and The Klamath Tribes, tied to the Upper Rogue, Rogue River watershed divide (Huckleberry Mountain area).

The complicated history of colonization and forced relocation of tribes from across what we now call Oregon and California resulted in the formation of many federally recognized tribal governments, including: the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, The Karuk Tribe, Quartz Valley Reservation, Elk Valley Rancheria, and Pit River Tribes of California.

It is important that we recognize and honor the ongoing legal and spiritual relationship between the land, plants, animals, and people indigenous to this place we now call Oregon.

The interconnectedness of the people, the land, and the natural environment cannot be overstated; the health of one is necessary for the health of all. We recognize the pre-existing and continued sovereignty of the nine federally recognized tribes who have ties to this place and thank them for continuing to share their traditional ecological knowledge and perspective on how we might care for one another and the land, so it can take care of us.ds.

We commit to engaging in a respectful and successful partnership as stewards of these lands.

Science and collaborative decision making are the bedrock of effective and adaptive management of forests and fire that work for society and ecology.

Kerry Metlen, The Nature Conservancy

Healthier forests mean healthy communities.

Everyone in the Rogue Basin is connected to the forests. Our forested mountains have been the source of food, livelihoods, valuable wood products, eco-cultural resources, diverse wildlife, recreational opportunities, and clean air and water for millennia. Together, we can ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy these benefits and that our region will continue to harbor the extraordinary diversity of plant and animal life and landscapes that make it such a special place. It will take many of us working together today if we want sustainable, productive forests tomorrow.