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Native American tribe reclaims part of Big Sur ancestral lands stolen from them 250 years ago

The indigenous people of the Big Sur area of northern California have been a landless group for 250 years. Taken from their ancestral homelands by Spanish colonials and sent to three different missions to be converted to Catholicism, the already small Esselen Tribe of Monterey County was nearly decimated.

"The missionaries were here to save the souls of the heathens, as they called us," the official website of the Esselen Tribe states. "In this way they hoped to take the land for the Spanish king, Carols III. This had severe consequences for the Esselen and other tribes that called these mountains their home. There were four other tribes that were also affected by the missionary's efforts for salvation."

Prior to colonial invasion, the Esselen had inhabited the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Big Sur coast for 6,000 years. Now, they are taking back almost 1200 acres of that land, with the help of a $4.5 million grant from the California Natural Resources Agency.


The grant made it possible to transfer the land from the Portland, Oregon-based Western Rivers Conservancy to the tribe. The Conservancy had negotiated to purchase the land with the intention of transferring it to the U.S. Forest Service, but local residents were concerned about increased use of the land and whether the Forest Service would have the resources to care for the land. As the Conservancy began working with the Esselen people, they tapped into the grant, which came from a taxpayer-funded bond that included $60 million for acquiring Native American natural, cultural and historic resources in California.

"It is beyond words for us, the highest honor," Tom Little Bear Nason, chairman of the tribe, told KTLA 5. "The land is the most important thing to us. It is our homeland, the creation story of our lives. We are so elated and grateful."

According to The Hill, the land is a ranch just south of Carmel-By-The-Sea, and is a little larger than the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Nason says that the tribe will build a sweat lodge and village to conduct traditional ceremonies and teach the public about Esselen culture. No permanent homes or businesses will be built on the land.

"We're the original stewards of the land," Nasion said. "Now we're returned. We are going to conserve it and pass it on to our children and grandchildren and beyond."

Congratulations to the Esselen people on this historic win.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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