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Northern California Tribal Court Coalition

The NCTCC's newest Program is the Rights of Mother Earth. We are working with our member tribes and allies on all issues involving indigenous food sovereignty, including banning GMO salmon and crops on Tribal lands and reducing chemical pesticides.

January 30, 2017: Applications are open for our Tribal Youth Sovereignty Camps! Application below.
youth camp flyer

March 12, 2016: We are so pleased to announce we have finalized the agenda and registration is now open for our first annual Northern California Tribal Food Sovereignty Conference Restoring the Balance: A Tribal Food Sovereignty Gathering to be held April 18-19 at the Yurok Tribe in Klamath, California. Such an amazing lineup and topics!

Media release, Registration Form, Agenda and Klamath travel and lodging information below. You can also register quickly online here:

We have set aside a block of 20 rooms at the Redwood Hotel Casino in Klamath at a special group rate, and they are going fast so you may want to book soon.

Please share and forward to your networks! (You can also like and follow Northern California Tribal Court Coalition on Facebook and spread the word.)

Please contact Cynthia Boshell cboshell@nctcc.org with any questions and to register. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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March 21, 2016, Klamath, California.
The Yurok Tribe will be hosting the first annual Northern California Tribal Food Sovereignty Conference - Restoring the Balance: A Tribal Food Sovereignty Gathering on April 18th and 19th in Klamath, California. The Yurok Tribe, Northern California Tribal Court Coalition, (“NCTCC”) National Congress of American Indians, (“NCAI”) First Nations Development Institute and Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples are co-sponsoring this important gathering.
Panel topics will include:
  • Protecting our Foods in a Changing Federal Legal Landscape;
  • Indigenous Corn as a Pathway to Strengthen Cultural Lifeways and Diversity;
  • Exercising Food and Culture Sovereignty in Yurok County (highlighting the Tribe’s recently enacted Genetically Engineered Organism Ordinance);
  • Food Sovereignty and Security in Karuk Country and the Mid-Klamath Watershed;
  • Traditional Gardens: Bringing Together Native Communities;
  • The National Tribal Model Food Code Project; and
  • Strategies Moving Forward
Prominent leaders in the Tribal Food Sovereignty movement will speak at the event, including: Christopher Peters (Pohlik-lah/Karuk), President & CEO, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples; Colby Duren, JD - National Congress of American Indians, Staff Attorney and Legislative Council; Janie Simms Hipp, JD, LLM - University of Arkansas Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative; A-dae Romero-Briones, JD, LLM - Pulama Lana’I, Director of Community Development and First Nations Development Institute; Kaylena Bray - Native Foodways Program Coordinator, Cultural Conservancy; Keir Johnson - CA/NV Regional Technical Assistance Specialist, Intertribal Agriculture Council; Karen Swift - Attorney; Corn Cultures Network Collaborator; Lea Zeise - Eastern Region TA Specialist, Intertribal Agriculture Council; Ann Marie Sayers - Tribal Chairperson, Indian Canyon Nation; Hon. Abby Abinanti - Chief Judge, Yurok Tribe; Stephanie Dolan - Executive Director, Northern California Tribal Court Coalition; Cheyenne Sanders - Associate General Counsel, Yurok Tribe; Louisa McCovey - YTEP Program Director; Rosie Clayburn - Cultural Resources Manager, Yurok Tribe; Lisa Hillman - Karuk Tribe Food Security Project Coordinator; Leaf Hillman - Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy ; Ron Reed - Karuk Tribe Cultural Biologist; Grant Gilkison - Mid Klamath Watershed Council Tribal Liaison; Luis Neuner - Karuk Tribal Youth; Jacob Butler - Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Cultural Resources Department; Meagan Baldy - Klamath Trinity Resource Conservation District, District Coordinator; Priscilla Baltezar - Potawot Community Garden Volunteer and Humboldt State University Campus Center for Appropriate Technology Garden Coordinator; and Hillary Renick J.D. L.L.M. - Attorney, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI)
Interested persons can register for the event easily online at: http://www.eventbee.com/v/nctcc/event?eid=151943091 or with a few more steps through the NCTCC website at http://nctcc.org/Page.asp?NavID=16, where people can fill out a registration form, view the full Agenda and Klamath travel and lodging information, as well as obtain information about other NCTCC Rights of Mother Earth initiatives.
Registration is $25 per person, which will partially offset the cost of breakfast and lunch both days. The Gathering will feature local, organic and sustainable meals, with vegetarian and gluten free options offered. A block of rooms at the Redwood Hotel Casino in Klamath have been set aside at a special group rate.
Please contact NCTCC Program Director Cynthia Boshell cboshell@nctcc.org or (707) 633-8889 with any questions about the Gathering.


The Yurok Tribe, working with NCTCC, has enacted the first Tribal GEO Ordinance in the Nation. Media release and final copy of the ordinance (formally enacted December 10, 2015) below.

December 14, 2015, Klamath, California.
On December 10, 2015, after several months of committee drafting and opportunity for public comment, the Yurok Tribal Council unanimously voted to enact the Yurok Tribe Genetically Engineered Organism (“GEO”) Ordinance.
The Tribal GEO Ordinance prohibits the propagation, raising, growing, spawning, incubating, or releasing genetically engineered organisms (such as growing GMO crops or releasing genetically engineered salmon) within the Tribe’s territory and declares the Yurok Reservation to be a GMO-free zone. While other Tribes, such as the Dine’ (Navajo) Nation, have declared GMO-free zones by resolution, this ordinance appears to be the first of its kind in the nation.
This announcement comes on the heels of the Federal Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of genetically engineered “AquAdvantage” salmon in November.
On April 11, 2013, the Yurok Tribe enacted a resolution opposing genetically engineered salmon, and then secured a grant from the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) to support the Tribe’s work in continuing to protect its ancestral lands, including: waters, traditional learning and teaching systems, seeds, animal-based foods, medicinal plants, salmon, sacred places, and the health and well-being of the Tribe’s families and villages. GMO farms, whether they are cultivating fish or for fresh produce, have a huge, negative impact on watersheds the world over. The Yurok Tribe’s homeland is on the Klamath River, where massive algal blooms, exacerbated by agricultural runoff and antiquated hydroelectric dams, turn the river toxic each summer.
The Yurok People have managed and relied upon the abundance of salmon on the Klamath River since time immemorial. The Tribe has a vital interest in the viability and survival of the wild, native Klamath River salmon species and all other traditional food resources.
 “The Yurok People have the responsibility to care for our natural world, including the plants and animals we use for our foods and medicines. This Ordinance is a necessary step to protect our food sovereignty and to ensure the spiritual, cultural and physical health of the Yurok People. GMO food production systems, which are inherently dependent on the overuse of herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics, are not our best interest,” said James Dunlap, Chairman of the Yurok Tribe.
The Ordinance allows for enforcement of violations through the Yurok Tribal Court. Yurok Chief Judge Abby Abinanti stated, “It is the inherent sovereign right of the Yurok People to grow plants from natural traditional seeds and to sustainably harvest plants, salmon and other fish, animals, and other life-giving foods and medicines, in order to sustain our families and communities as we have successfully done since time immemorial; our Court will enforce any violations of these inherent, and now codified, rights.”
The Yurok Tribe is working with other Tribes in a regional collaborative as part of the Northern California Tribal Court Coalition (NCTCC), and the Tribe and NCTCC are co-hosting an Indigenous Food Sovereignty Summit in Klamath in the spring of 2016.
A signed copy of the ordinance can be found on NCTCC’s website.
For questions about the ordinance, contact Matt Mais at 707.482.1350, mmais@yuroktribe.nsn.us
Or Stephanie Dolan, Executive Director of the Northern California Tribal Court Coalition 530.575.5818, sdolan@nctcc.org

Registration form for 2016 Tribal Food Sovereignty Gathering

PDF - Food Sovereignty Camp   YOUTH CAMP FLYER AND APPLICATION 1.30.17.PDFSpacer(5833.2KB)

PDF - Agenda   RTB - FINAL AGENDA.PDFSpacer(1508.6KB)

PDF - Travel Information   KLAMATH, CA TRAVEL LODGING INFO.PDFSpacer(1599.3KB)


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