(TMU) — Like the rest of the United States, for thousands of years present-day California was home to the Native American peoples. And as was the case across the country, in California around 16,000 indigenous Natives were wiped out through a combination of discriminatory laws and attacks by federal authorities, state officials, and local militias that executed the genocide of the state’s original inhabitants.
However, an island off the coast of California is finally being returned to the small Wiyot Tribe after an unprecedented formal transfer of the land to the group by the City of Eureka in Northern California.
Known for decades as “Indian Island” and originally known as Duluwat Island, it was once the spiritual and physical center of the Wiyot nation before being purchased by a dairy farmer without their consent in 1860. Days later, Eureka residents massacred an untold number of Wiyot, including women and children.
The land, which included the sacred Tuluwat village, then became plagued by invasive species and contaminated by a ship yard.
But now, the island will belong to the Wiyot people in its entirety after the city transferred all city deeds to the tribe.
In an emotional ceremony late last month, Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman finalized the formal transfer to the Wiyot people of the largest island in Humboldt Bay.
Tribal chairman Ted Hernandez held back tears as he thanked friends and family for urging him not to give up on regaining the land, even when prospects of its return seemed slim. He commented:
“Today is a good day to be alive.”
Cutcha Risling Baldy, an assistant professor of Native American studies at Humboldt State University, explained:
“We never gave up on our land or where we came from.
And that’s the story I want people to know.
I know that the story of Tuluwat, which people often refer to as Indian Island, is one of a massacre for most people. But for me, it has always been a place of world renewal.”
For countless generations, Wiyot people had conducted the annual World Renewal Ceremony at Tuluway Village. That same ceremony was happening when the invading settlers at Eureka massacred innocent Wiyot families, and the next ritual ceremony was only held again in 2014 when elders revived the tradition, which symbolized the healing of the Earth.
Former mayor Frank Jäger signed a formal apology for the massacre at the time. An earlier and much stronger draft of the letter, which wasn’t approved by the council, was read aloud during the transfer.
In the apology, Jäger wrote:
“Nothing we say or do can make up for what occurred on that night of infamy. It will forever be a scar on our history.
We can, however, with our present and future actions of support for the Wiyot, work to remove the prejudice and bigotry that still exists in our society today.”
The attempt at offering some restitution to Native Californians comes months after Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order in June that apologized for the “violence, maltreatment and neglect” the state’s original peoples suffered at the hands of authorities and white settler-colonizers.
In 1851, California’s first executive, Governor Peter Burnett, urged lawmakers to prepare for “a war of extermination” that would continue “until the Indian race becomes extinct.”
Offering an apology at the site of the future California Indian Heritage Center in West Sacramento, Newsom said:
“California must reckon with our dark history.
We can never undo the wrongs inflicted on the peoples who have lived on this land that we now call California since time immemorial, but we can work together to build bridges, tell the truth about our past and begin to heal deep wounds.”
The governor also pledged to establish a “truth and healing council” to provide Native peoples’ perspectives on the historical record. Newsom added:
“It’s called a genocide. That’s what it was. A genocide. [There’s] no other way to describe it and that’s the way it needs to be described in the history books.
And so I’m here to say the following: I’m sorry on behalf of the state of California.”
A year ago, Hernandez hailed the expected transfer as “a step in the right direction” in an interview with the Times-Standard.
Our ancestors will be at rest and at peace, and the ceremonies will be able to continue.”
UK Boy, 6, Finds Fossil In Family Garden That May be 488 Million Years Old
Children have a natural fascination with rocks, with many of us having spent some days as children standing awe-struck at our museums or science centers looking at dazzling arrays of stones, or learning about the different types that can be found out our local beaches, parks, or hiking trails.
However, none of us managed to make the sort of discovery that one young boy in the U.K. did.
Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, found a fossil in his garden that dates back millions of years.
Sid found the fossil in his backyard garden in the town of Walsall using a simple fossil-hunting kit he received as a gift, reports the BBC.
His father Vish Singh was then able to identify the fossil as a horn corral that dates back 251 to 488 million years with the help of a Facebook fossil group.
“I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn, and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral,” Sid explained.
“I was really excited about what it really was.”
His father Vish added:
“We were surprised he found something so odd-shaped in the soil… he found a horn coral, and some smaller pieces next to it, then the next day he went digging again and found a congealed block of sand.
“In that there were loads of little molluscs and sea shells, and something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it’s quite a prehistoric thing.”
The father believes that the distinctive markings on the fossil make it a Rugosa coral, meaning it could be up to 488 million years old.
“The period that they existed from was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic Era,” Vish said.
“England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well… that’s quite significant expanse of time.”
Researchers Find 50,000-Year-Old Frozen Body of Extinct Woolly Rhino in Siberia
Researchers in Siberia have stumbled upon the 50,000 year-old remains of a rare woolly rhinoceros that was trapped in permafrost.
The remains of the woolly rhino were excavated from the Abyisky district of the Sakha Republic. The rhino was first discovered by a local in Siberia named Alexei Savin, Business Insider reported.
Savvin stumbled upon the remarkable find walking near the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia, Siberia last August.
It’s worth noting that this woolly rhino was found close to the site where a previous baby woolly rhino named Sasha was discovered back in the year 2014. Woolly Rhinos were once believed to have been prevalent in Europe, Russia and northern Asia thousands upon thousands of years ago until they ended up extinct.
Paleontologist Albert Protopopov of the Academy of Sciences of the Sakha Republic unveiled that the baby woolly rhino would have been approximately three to four years old when it died presumably from drowning.
The only other woolly rhino thus far that has been discovered in these regions — Sasha — was dated to be from around 34,000 years ago. However, Protopopov suggests that the newly discovered body could be anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 years old.
However, despite the body being there for so long according to Protopopov “among other things, part of the internal organs are preserved, which in the future will make it possible to study in more detail how the species ate and lived.”
Protopopov further added, “Earlier, not even the bone remains of individuals of this age were found, not to mention the preserved carcasses of animals. As a rule, these were either cubs or adults.”
A fellow paleontologist Valery Plotnikov from the Academy of Sciences further adds, “We have learned that woolly rhinoceroses were covered in very thick hair. Previously, we could judge this only from rock paintings discovered in France. Now, judging by the thick coat with the undercoat, we can conclude that the rhinoceroses were fully adapted to the cold climate very much from a young age.”
Isaac Newton’s Secret “Burnt” Notes Included Theory That Great Pyramids Predicted Apocalypse
Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most famous scientists of recorded history, left behind a large body of work that is still vital in our understanding of the world today. However, as with many public intellectuals, he also had plenty of work that was never shared with the public, even after his death.
Now, for the first time ever, some of these unpublished notes are being auctioned off, and these notes contain some of his most wild theories, and includes his thoughts on the occult, alchemy, and biblical apocalypse theory. Newton was known to dabble in the more esoteric realms of study, but very little written evidence remains about his specific thoughts on mystical topics.
Some of the remaining manuscript notes are currently being auctioned by Sotheby’s. The notes have been through a lot, and are obviously burned. The auctioneers claim that the notes were damaged in a fire that is believed to have been started by a candle that was accidentally toppled by Newton’s dog, Diamond.
According to the auction listing, “These notes are part of Newton’s astonishingly complex web of interlinking studies – natural philosophy, alchemy, theology – only parts of which he ever believed were appropriate for publication. It is not surprising that he did not publish on alchemy, since secrecy was a widely-held tenet of alchemical research, and Newton’s theological beliefs, if made public, would have cost him (at least) his career.”
The notes currently have a leading bid of £280,000, the equivalent of about $375,000.
In the notes, Newton speaks on some far-out topics that would surprise modern thinkers. For example, Newton’s notes include a theory that ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza predicted the apocalypse. While it is unclear what logic he used to get to his conclusion, the theory began with his study of how the pyramids were designed according to an ancient Egyptian unit of measurement called the royal cubit.
While studying the pyramids and the cubit, Newton believed he developed an insight into sacred geometry, which somehow aligned with the apocalypse predictions in the bible.
“He was trying to find proof for his theory of gravitation, but in addition the ancient Egyptians were thought to have held the secrets of alchemy that have since been lost. Today, these seem disparate areas of study – but they didn’t seem that way to Newton in the 17th century,” Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscript specialist, told The Guardian.
“It’s a wonderful confluence of bringing together Newton and these great objects from classical antiquity which have fascinated people for thousands of years. The papers take you remarkably quickly straight to the heart of a number of the deepest questions Newton was investigating,” Heaton added.
Interest in alchemy and mysticism was not unusual for serious scholars at the time, in fact, it was recognized as a legitimate field of scientific study.
“The idea of science being an alternative to religion is a modern set of thoughts. Newton would not have believed that his scientific work could undermine religious belief. He was not trying to disprove Christianity – this is a man who spent a long time trying to establish the likely time period for the biblical apocalypse. That’s why he was so interested in the pyramids,” Heaton said.
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