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The Yurok Tribal Council finds that:

(a) The Creator set forth the laws by which the Yurok people are instructed to interact and care for our natural world, including the plants and animals we use for our foods and medicines;

(b) Resisting and undoing the many negative impacts of invasion and colonization for the Yurok people means restoring what was taken from us in the process. These include our lands, waters, traditional learning and teaching systems, seeds, food and medicinal plants and animals, salmon, sacred places, and the health and wellbeing of our families and villages;

(c) These sacred elements and our relationship with Mother Earth are of absolute necessity for restoring the practice of our food sovereignty and for our spiritual, cultural, physical, social and environmental health, identity, and survival;

(d) The Yurok people, as World Renewal People, have managed and relied upon the abundance of Klamath River Wild Salmon since time immemorial and have and continue to be known as “Salmon People” of the northwest coast;

(e) The Yurok Tribe adopted a Constitution in order to:

(1) Preserve forever the survival of our Tribe and protect it from forces which may threaten its existence;

(2) Uphold and protect our Tribal sovereignty which has existed from time immemorial and which remains undiminished;

(3) Provide for the health, education, economy, and social wellbeing of our members and future members; and

(4) Restore, enhance, and manage the Tribal fishery, Tribal water rights, Tribal forests, and all other natural resources;

(f) The Tribe has a vital cultural, legal, subsistence, and economic interest in the viability of and survival of Klamath River Wild Salmon and all other life-giving food and water resources in their traditional forms, natural diversity, and original integrity;

(g) Protecting our traditional seeds, plants, salmon, and other life-giving foods and methods from the many current threats such as climate change, mining and extractive industries, genetic engineering, chemical pesticides, and other toxic contaminants is essential for our survival, and is at the core of our sacred responsibilities as Yurok people;

(h) It is the inherent sovereign right of the Yurok people to grow plants from natural traditional seeds and to sustainably harvest plants, salmon and other fish, animals, and other life-giving foods and medicines, in order to sustain our families and communities as we have successfully done since time immemorial; and

(i) The threat to the Yurok Tribal Territory of contamination of our traditional seeds, plants, animals, and fish from genetically engineered organisms is not yet severe. However, given the rapid federal governmental approval and pending approval of a wide variety of genetically engineered seeds, animals, and fish (including GMO salmon), the Tribe enacts the ordinance codified in this chapter primarily as a preventative measure against future harm. [Ord. 46 § 8003, adopted, 12/10/2015.]