Initiatives for Reconciliation and Partnership

We are continuing to work with the Round Valley Indian Tribes Tribal Council and their Yuki Committee on a variety of initiatives. Below is a list of the initiatives that Chancellor & Dean David Faigman supports. That said, there may be changes made to this list as we continue to build our relationship with the Tribal Council and Yuki people (also known as the Witukomno’m People of Eden Valley and Round Valley and Powe’ N’om). Some are already in place, while others are in progress or in discussion: 

  • Dedicate a permanent and public memorial to the Yuki/Witukomno’m people at an appropriate location on the Hastings campus, with display panels, historical explanations and cultural presentations. The location of this space has already been allocated in a prominent location in the lobby of our main administrative building (Mary Kay Kane Hall), with furniture ordered. We have begun conversations about what the Yuki people would like in that space, including art and graphic images of their traditional baskets.
  • Establishment of a public website to allow dissemination of the College’s approach, to keep the public advised of historical, academic, and programmatic work to address the broader issues and the restorative justice agenda. We will continue to update this website as initiatives grow and develop. 
  • Establish clinical or experiential educational programs for our students and those of other UC campuses to address the specific needs of residents of Round Valley, including the possibility of a center for pro bono legal assistance in tribal legal matters and public law assistance that could be staffed with student interns, faculty leadership and pro bono contributors. The Dean has allocated seed funding from a donor for summer fellows to work with non-profits near the Ukiah area that focus on providing free legal services to Federally recognized tribes, including the RVIT. Our Associate Dean for Experiential Learning & Clinical Professor of Law Gail Silverstein is organizing that effort in partnership with the Chancellor & Dean’s Office.
  • Establishment of an Indigenous Law Center and related academic and educational programs at Hastings, available to all students interested in studying Indian Law. The goal of these programs is the encouragement of scholarship, educational growth, opportunity and support for students, and recruitment of qualified individuals from the Round Valley Tribes and/or Yuki descendants for legal education and career opportunities in law. The ILC is already very active. Inaugural events were extremely successful. There is also a new seminar course happening this semester (co-taught by Professor Jo Carrillo and Visiting Professor Jonathan Cordero, also President of the Ramaytush Ohlone Association). ILC Director and UC Hastings Professor Jo Carrillo has been instrumental in establishing a relationship with both the Yuki members of the RVIT and with the Ramaytush Ohlone, and in inviting them to participate in programs at UC Hastings. 
  • Collaborate and communicate with elected officials at the local and state level on our partnership. We have made sure to send updates about our work with RVIT to various California elected officials, including the Governor’s Office and legislators with particular interest. RVIT is currently not represented in the Governor’s California Truth & Healing Council, but UC Hastings remains available to support connect tribal members to the Governor’s Office where appropriate. 
  • Organize pro bono attorneys with a connection to Hastings to assist in mutually agreed upon goals and objectives. Wherever possible, we have reached out to our networks to support the RVIT community in helping to connect its members with services or legal support, including at local/county offices for economic development/permitting challenges.
  • Assist tribal leaders, where possible, with other community needs such as local education and curriculum, preservation of the Yuki/Witukomno’m legacy with an emphasis on youth, preservation of tribal oral traditions and stories, and advancement in teaching and preserving native languages. We have successfully fundraised for a few of the ideas in this area, including working with the Yuki people to assess whether we could fund recording the historical narratives of their elders and connecting middle/high school students to UC Hastings students for moot court educational programming. Representatives from UC Hastings, including Professor Jo Carrillo and Asst. Chancellor & Dean Jenny Kwon were invited by Yuki member Jobe Thomson (also head of community engagement at Round Valley High School) to their Indigenous People’s Day celebration on October 8, 2021. Professor Carrillo presented virtually for the event and engaged in active discussion with the students).
  • Assist with fundraising and the legal aspects of establishing a museum or cultural center in Round Valley, along with a project for protection of sacred sites and repatriation of artifacts and human remains. Asst. Chancellor & Dean Jenny Kwon and CFO David Seward have been in touch with the RVIT Tribal Historic Preservation Office Manager about current NAPGRA efforts. Jenny and David have also met with the University of California Office of the President leadership on ways that we can support NAGPRA efforts in play at the UC campuses.
  • Highlight the injustices of the past by bringing attention to the public at large and the Hastings community with a lecture series, guest speakers, tribal elders, dealing with “Righting the Wrongs.” Our Indigenous Law Center has led our efforts thus far through their events by hosting panels on current events, and by affiliating with Indigenous scholars and curators 
  • Support the collaboration of Hastings staff with tribal members to seek grant opportunities from public and private sources to address issues and concerns of tribal leadership; UC Hastings leadership has helped facilitate awareness of state and federal grants and other funding opportunities. We also facilitated an introduction to colleagues at the California Public Utilities Commission. Some of the funding needs discussed include challenges with arson and vandalism, broadband, economic development, permitting, etc. We have also connected the RVIT Tribal Council with EnerTribe, a Native-owned consulting firm that helps tribes across the country access state and federal funding for various tribal needs and navigate through red-tape.
  • Honor and commemorate the Yuki/Witukomno’m people by publicizing these efforts by opinion and editorial pieces, perhaps individually or jointly written with a representative of descendants, to acknowledge the tragic history of the Round Valley community and to encourage reconciliation through restorative justice. Chancellor & Dean David Faigman and RVIT President James Russ co-authored this July 2021 Op-Ed in the Sacramento Bee to help bring attention to our relationship-based model of restorative justice.