Native American Tribe Finally Regains Ownership of Big Sur Ancestral Lands After 250 Years | 22 Words

This comes over 250 years after it was initially stolen from them by colonizers...

The Esselen Tribe is one of California's smallest and least known.

But they lived around Santa Lucia Mountains and the Big Sur coast for thousands of years.

Until 250 years ago, that is.

The Esselen peoples' land was taken from them by Spanish colonizers around this time.

The Esselen people were displaced.

And were a landless tribe - until Monday.

This week, the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County secured a deal.

They came together with the Western Rivers Conservancy, an environmental group operating in the Northern California area.

They purchased nearly 1,200 acres of land.

Which came at the staggering cost of $4.5 million.

The WRC requires any land to have a long-term steward.

Thus supported the Esselen people in their aims to take back the land they treat as sacred.

The cost was covered by the California Natural Resources Agency.

"It is with great honor that our tribe has been called by our Ancestors to become stewards of these sacred indigenous lands once again," Tom Little Bear Nason, Tribal Chairman of the ETMC.

"These lands are home to many ancient villages of our people."

"Directly across the Little Sur River sits Pico Blanco or 'Pitchi', which is the most sacred spot on the coast for the Esselen People and the center of our origin story."

The land had been known as Adler Ranch.

And has first attracted the WRC because of its extreme natural biodiversity.

It's also home to one of the biggest North American birds.

The California Condor is known for nesting in the region's large redwoods.

"The old-growth redwoods on this property are genetically adaptive to the warmer dry climate of Big Sur."

"These trees will be important for the future effort to assist in redwood survival," Sue Doroff, president of WRC, shared.

The Big Sur river also holds an endangered species.

The South-Central California Coast Steelhead is in dire need of conservation, too.

The deal has occurred with some caveats.

Both parties had to agree not to use the land for any commercial reasons.

There's also a duty of conservatorship.

Which shouldn't be a problem for the Esselen people.

Alongside its natural richness ...

The area is also undeniably beautiful, too.

"We are proud of our involvement here and conserving this landscape," continued Doroff.

"We are honored to be a part of rebuilding the Esselen Tribe."

The Esselen people have some plans for the area.

They're going to construct a village there, which can also be used by other tribes in the surrounding state.

They're also planning educational programs.

The ETMC wish to use their platform to educate about their culture.

"We are going to conserve it and pass it on to our children and grandchildren and beyond."

"Getting this land back gives privacy to do our ceremonies. It gives us space and the ability to continue our culture without further interruption," Nason explained.

It seems this is a truly brilliant piece of news.

Offering positive impacts to the environment and to the Esselen people, too. Want more positive climate news? Keep scrolling for Greta Thunberg's latest gesture ...