Graduation Date

Fall 2021

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Nicholas Perdue

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Craig Tucker

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional


Since 2009, the city of Arcata, R. H. Emmerson & Sons, and Humboldt State University have collaborated on the transfer of an 884-acre tract of land in Goukdi’n (known locally as Jacoby Creek Forest). The main goals of this project are to prevent fragmentation of the land, protect wildlife, and to support and enhance student research opportunities. In the ten years that it took for this land to be transferred to the California State University and in the care of Humboldt State University the Wiyot Tribe was not consulted regarding the parcels, their purchase, or their being given to HSU.

It is the goal of this thesis to examine the history of these parcels, and also discuss why leaving Tribes out of the conversation in regard to land ownership is problematic. The interviews that I conducted with community members about Goukdi’n provide insight as to how land is regarded - not only as something that is ‘ownable’, but as something that we all feel connected to for one reason or another. Settler colonialism has deteriorated the way that we think and speak about land, as though it is something that is separate from us as humans. This research found that to be entirely incorrect, and in fact it determines that our connection to our place and our planet is necessary for the health of us all. Furthermore, the fact that settler colonialism has brutally and continuously attempted to disconnect Indigenous peoples from their lands is the very reason that we are all so sick.

In order to heal from the violence that has been brought to this land and its people, we must begin with the most basic step: return the land. Goukdi’n has been separated from the Wiyot Tribe for over 160 years. It’s time to end that. Therefore, the goal of this thesis project is to work towards the rematriation of Goukdi’n to the Wiyot Tribe.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location