Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: hoopa valley reservation | california | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 7 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Hoopa Valley Reservation - California
The sovereignty of modern Native Peoples in the United States is something they hold very dear. It is a recognition of their unique cultural heritage, their historic links to the land that now makes up the United States, their rights to their ceremonies, laws, traditions, beliefs and artifacts. No Tribe in the United States cherishes their sovereignty more than the Hoopa Tribe of northern California. The Valley of the Trinity River, called the Hoopa by the neighboring Yurok Tribe, has been their home for centuries, and the ties to that land are strong and those ties reinforce the love of their sovereignty. The Hoopa even have a holiday called "Sovereignty Day" to celebrate the sovereignty of all Native peoples within the United States.
Located northeast of the city of Eureka, the more than 86,000 acres that comprise the Hoopa Valley Reservation is the largest in California. It is home to almost 2,500 tribal members.
© Donald Healy 2008
On "Sovereignty Day" in 1994 the Hoopa unveiled their tribal flag. As with many other tribes, it is white and bears the seal of the Hoopa in the center. That seal recalls three facets of the heritage of the Hoopa people - basket
weaving, their plank style homes and their beloved valley of the Trinity River. The center of the seal shows a plank house in a clearing along the banks of the Trinity River. Beyond are the hills that form Hoopa Valley. Directly behind the
house are three trees while three birds fly in the blue sky that forms the backdrop of the scene. Although not specified, the recurrence of the number three may point to the close knit relationship between the Hoopa people and their close neighbors, the Yurok and Karuk Tribes. All items in the scene appear in natural colors.
This bucolic setting is surrounded by a black design similar to that used in the basketry of the Hoopa. Outside the weaving pattern, the seal bears the legend "The Great Seal of the Hoopa Valley Tribe". This is separated from the field of the flag by a very narrow ring of red.
With the adoption of a tribal flag, the Hoopa now celebrate their sovereign status with the ultimate modern symbol of sovereignty - the flag.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 7 January 2008