Chico State, tribe ready to sign pact
- The agreement aims to show a mutual respect for campus.
Chico State officials will sign an agreement Friday with leaders of the Mechoopda Tribe, whose traditional lands encompass the campus.
Tribal leaders and university officials will sign the agreement that they say formalizes a relationship of mutual respect and collaboration at 11 a.m. on campus at the Alumni Glen, a site of historical and cultural significance for the tribe.
The ceremony celebrates the acceptance of guiding principles developed by the California State University, Chico, in consultation with the Mechoopda Tribe of Chico Rancheria.
The document has been evolving for months. It gained momentum after tribe leaders were featured in a campus presentation last spring called "Chico-Area Native American Experience: Past, Present and Future."
"It's become a close relationship. We're connecting ourselves to the tribe in how we're going to look at our master planning," CSUC spokesman Joe Wills said. The guiding principles in the document acknowledge that the university and the tribe "seek to consult and work cooperatively to protect, preserve, and manage cultural resources that may be identified on campus lands."
"This is truly a historic day, not only for the Mechoopda Indian Tribe and California State University, Chico, but for the city of Chico as well," said Mechoopda Tribal Council Chairman Steve Santos. "We feel this memorandum of understanding will continue to further the positive relationship we've developed with the university."
"I am extremely pleased to take part in this ceremony and to help further the close relationship between Chico State and the Mechoopda Tribe," CSUC President Paul Zingg said. "Common ground and values connect us. The agreement affirms our mutual recognition to this effect and our confidence that this agreement will bring great benefit for the university and the Mechoopda."
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