Wiyot Honor Tax
The United States has a long, violent history of colonization that has impacted Indigenous Peoples in many ways. We believe that modern day descendants of colonizers have a responsibility to learn about the history of the land they inhabit, and the people who have stewarded that land since time immemorial. Here in the here in the greater Wigi (Humboldt Bay) area, we acknowledge that we occupy traditional Wiyot territory, and we are actively engaged in an ongoing process to learn how we can participate in processes that acknowledge historical atrocities, honor the sovereignty of Native Tribes/Nations, and find ways to engage deeply in developing relationships and true partnerships with our neighbors of Wiyot (and other Indigenous) ancestry.
One way that we engage in this work is through our commitment to pay 1% of our annual revenue to the Wiyot Honor Tax. An Honor Tax is a tangible way of honoring the sovereignty of Native Nations. It is called a tax because it's not a gift or donation. The tax is voluntary, and the amount is decided by the individual/organization, and is paid directly to the Wiyot Tribe.
We invite and encourage other local individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and community entities to join us in committing to pay this tax.
You can mail your payment to:
The Wiyot Tribe
1000 Wiyot Dr.
Loleta, CA. 95551
“Tribal governments provide essential service to their citizens. Other governments tax property, land, and income in order to provide these services. Tribal Governments cannot do this as their ancestral territory is occupied. We cannot tax our own people because they are already paying local, state, and federal taxes and tribal lands are held in trust by the federal government, or being taxed by other governments. The Wiyot Tribe operates primarily on grant funding. That places Tribes in a position of being subject to the whims of the federal government and nonprofit foundations which often dictate how funds must be spent. For me, the Honor tax is a really important tool to develop economic sovereignty because it allows us to choose how we spend funds with no strings attached.” - Michelle Vassel, Wiyot Tribal Administrator
- Wiyot Tribe
- Don't live in traditional Wiyot territory? Look up the Indigenous history of where you live here.
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples