The tribe has just announced that it is implementing a ban on all GM crops and GM animals.
A committee meant to review the Yurok Tribe Genetically Engineered Organism (GEO) Ordinance, which was first allowed public comment, has now been enacted this December, 2015.
The Tribal GEO Ordinance prohibits the propagation, raising, growing, spawning, incubating, or releasing of genetically engineered organisms (such as growing GMO crops or releasing genetically engineered salmon) within the Tribe’s territory and declares the Yurok Reservation to be a GMO-free zone.
It is the first ordinance of its kind in the Nation.
This tribe previously tried to protect their land and rivers from genetically modified salmon, and now have decided that all GM crops and animals pose a serious threat.
The Yurok Tribe’s homeland is on the Klamath River, where massive algal blooms, exacerbated by agricultural runoff and antiquated hydroelectric dams, turn the river toxic each summer.
Violations of the ban can be enforced through Yurok Tribal Court.
“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; our Court will enforce any violations of these inherent, and now codified, rights,” Yurok Chief Judge Abby Abinanti stated.