Elem Pomo Tribe battles plan for housing at ancestral site

The Elem Pomo Tribe of California is trying to stop a landowner from developing Rattlesnake Island, the ancestral Pomo village.

"That was the main village for our tribe," tribal administrator Jim Brown told The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. "We are the Mesopotamia of all the tribes."

John Nady owns the entire 58-acre island. He plans to develop two homes there and says his development won't harm an ancient tribal village, just 100 feet from his building site.

"It's sacred to me, too, but that is my land, not theirs," Nady told the paper. "Since 1860, right or wrong, it has been in private, non-Indian hands."

The Lake County Planning Commission will consider grading permits for the project on May 13. The county's archaeologist says the island should be preserved.

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At odds again over plans for island (The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat 5/4)