Based in Wiyot culture and values the Wiyot Tribe embraces and serves everyone in our community gou rrugulu’s "I recognize you for what you are"
We recognize that the Wiyot Tribal community has traditionally and is in present day a robust community with a spectrum of diversity in skin color, sexual orientation, gender and location.
The Wiyot Tribe welcomes everyone in our community to engage in cultural activities, re-discover Wiyot culture, investigate, participate, support and encourage each other to be welcomed into our community with an open mind and heart. We recognize that each of us has a role to play in advancing the tribe’s mission, culture and language revitalization.
The effects of colonialism in Native American communities resulted in both marginalization on the basis of racial/ethnic identity and also of gender and sexuality. European colonizers condemned same-sex relationships and gender variance and used these beliefs to further dehumanize Indigenous people. Attempts to destroy our use of our native tongue Soulatluk furthered the colonizers agenda as our native language embodies our world view.
Unlike English, Soulatluk is inherently gender-neutral and uses inclusive pronouns (qilu’l = he/she or any 3rd person, hou = his/her/any 3rd person’s possessive). “Two-spirit” refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit and is used by some Indigenous people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. The term is a translation of the Anishinaabemowin term niizh manidoowag, two spirits. In Soulatluk we use the term, gou’mel “both together”, that is used to express two-spirit people within the Wiyot Community.
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The Wiyot community was the target of more than 150 years of genocide and colonial practices designed to destroy the Wiyot people through the destruction of the Wiyot language, culture, way of life, dispossession of the land, and relocation of Wiyot people. We recognize that the imprint of colonialism persists in our community, and that we are a strong and resilient people working to wake up our culture.
We acknowledge that our people came from different villages across our ancestral lands and recognize that part of our history includes dispossession of our lands, relocation in the late 1800-early 1900’s, boarding schools and the Indian Relocation Act of 1956 (a United States law intended to encourage Native Americans in the United States to leave Indian reservations, acquire vocational skills, and assimilate into the general population). This history means that many of our people now live outside of our ancestral lands. We recognize and serve all Wiyot people, wherever they are and welcome you with open arms, sprits, hearts, and minds.
The Wiyot Tribe is committed to creating space for diversity and engagement and intends to increase diverse representation and empower courageous engagement. For some of us it means summoning the courage to stand up and speak out to interrupt racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia when it occurs. For others it means listening with patience and empathy to create an environment for learning and understanding each other regardless of what we look like, where we come from or who we love.
Collectively we called ourselves simply Gou’wil, meaning the "People” and that term embodies us all.