Eureka's Letter of Apology

Eureka’s Letter of Apology for Indian Island Massacre<br />

Below is the transcript of Eureka's recent [2004] official letter of apology for the Indian Island Massacre, otherwise known as the 1860 Wiyot Massacre. The apology was written by Mayor Frank J. Jäger, mayor of Eureka from Nov 2 2010 to present. 

Dear Members of the Wiyot Tribe:

       In February 1860, 154 years ago, citizens from Eureka participated in what has been described as a massacre of unfathomable proportions. On that winter night long ago, the Wiyot people of Humboldt Bay were attacked. That incident resulted in the death of scores of mostly women and children on the tribal island in Humboldt Bay. Worse yet, this attack occurred during the Wiyot Renewal Ceremony to bring healing to the Earth. The ceremony was never finished.
       Today the people of Eureka are pleased to see the World Renewal Ceremony, that was cut short in 1860, will at last be finished. The ceremony will take place on island land deeded to the Wiyot people in 2004.
       As Mayor of Eureka, on behalf of the City Council and the people of Eureka, we would like to offer a formal apology to the Wiyot people for the actions of our people in 1860. Nothing we say or do can make up for what occurred on that night of infamy. It will forever be a scar on our history. We can, however, with our present and future actions of support for the Wiyot, work to remove the prejudice and bigotry that still exists in our society today.


Frank J. Jäger


Eureka's Letter of Apology