Reaching out with a helping hand for those who need it the most is a vital part of our responsibility as citizens. For the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, providing assistance to local initiatives and causes is something we consider a basic aspect of our overarching mission:  to create a better life for our tribe members as well as our friends and neighbors. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to reach out to neighbors at a greater distance, and an especially dire situation has commanded our attention these past few weeks.

Like most who saw the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey, we were stricken by the level of devastation. Seeing one of America’s great cities submerged in unthinkable depths caused us all great sorrow. The people of Houston, a strong and resolute group, deserved to know that their fellow Americans were at their backs. We knew that reaching out to help was an absolute necessity.

Frightfully soon after the shock of Harvey’s landfall, the country was given a nearly immediate second blow from Hurricane Irma in Florida. To our dismay, some of our fellow Habematolel employees were directly in the storm’s path. Through our outreach efforts, we were able to help them relocate in time to avoid the devastation and find safe havens. We will continue to provide whatever assistance we can to victims of both storms.

The $12,500.00 donation from the Upper Lake Tribe will go towards emergency relief, providing assistance and shelter to families stricken by these horrific conditions. While this is a drop in the bucket, our help will hopefully be a starting point for many to renew the lives that have been upended by these horrific events knowing their old way of life may never be replaced.

“When one city suffers, our entire country suffers,” said our Chairperson, Sherry Treppa, “this gift to our friends in Houston and Florida will hopefully also be a message that they remain in our hearts.” Added Vice Chair Angie Arroyo, “It is our humble desire to provide whatever we can for those in need. It’s not a matter of doing what’s expected, but doing what’s right.”

We are always looking for ways that we can improve our community, from Lake County across the entire nation. We are all connected as Americans, and this connection is something we deeply cherish. To show our appreciation for this shared bond is something we consider a privilege.  

Others who wish to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma or other natural disasters can give at