“Sovereignty” either has meaning or doesn’t. The Trinidad Rancheria ought to be able to do as it pleases with its own land — even if it contains a slice of California’s coast.

Does that include building a boondoggle? Yes. Despite all of our state’s history, it’s still the rancheria’s land.

Is the proposed hotel actually a boondoggle? Opinions vary, but the fact remains: It’s still the rancheria’s land.

To quote the Coastal Commission’s own tribal consultation policy: “It is important to recognize that the entirety of the State’s coastal zone was originally indigenous territory that likely has cultural significance at some level or another. Long before the coastal areas were colonized by white settlers, each coastal area had significance to the local indigenous communities. This significance is part of the State’s history, which is full of centuries of land theft, suppression, and aggression, pushing indigenous people from coastal (and other) regions early in the colonization and settlement of the State. For decades, even after native people were already excluded from coastal areas by settlers and state and federal officials, expressions of indigenous culture, religion and values led to aggression and persecution, including periods of genocide. Tribes were forced to abandon many coastal areas.”

Let it be.

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