Success: Ancestral Lands Returned to Native American Tribe

Target: Gavin Newsom, Governor of California

Goal: Support restorations of land to Esselen tribe.

Native Americans have fought diligently to reclaim the ancestral lands stripped from them by an act of Congress in 1953. This ForceChange petition brought attention to the struggles of California tribes as they battled special interests set on depriving them of their heritage. Thanks to the unified support from these petition signers and other dedicated advocates, another proud people will soon get back an essential piece of their history.

The Esselen Tribe first lost their lands two-and-a-half centuries ago to Spanish conquistadors. When Congress withdrew recognition from this tribe and other natives in an attempt at “assimilation,” the hopes of the tribe seemed further away than ever. A new deal struck with the state of California will restore to the Esselen over a thousand acres of ancestral lands along the Big Sur coast. The tribal chairman said of the pact: “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.”

More lands could soon return to rightful hands, as this transaction was part of tens of millions of dollars in grants designed for Native American land restoration. Sign the petition below to thank Governor Gavin Newsom for listening to the calls of the people to end centuries of injustice.


Dear Governor Newsom,

The Esselen Tribe called reclaiming part of their ancestral heritage “the highest honor.” These words show just how deeply Native American connect with the lands where their predecessors lived and loved. California’s grant program for ancestral land restoration has recorded a promising success story.

Thank you for backing this important initiative, and please continue to support America’s first inhabitants and their proud descendants.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Doug Steakley


One Comment

  1. Annette Ondre-Wysocki says:

    Yes, finally this very important reversal for the original first people of this land.

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