Traditional Native Land

Grove of Titans in 2012, prior to “social” trails. Photo by Max Forster, @maxforsterphotography.

Grove of Titans is within the Indigenous ancestral homelands of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, a federally recognized tribe. Tolowa ancestral homelands are along the Sii~-xuu-dvn (Pacific Coast) between the watersheds of Daa-ghestlh-ts’a’ (Wilson Creek) in California to Ts’aa-xwii-chit (Sixes River), inclusive of the watersheds of Duu-srxuu-shi’ (Winchuck), Chit (Chetco), Ch’vt-le’sr-chvn-dvn (Pistol), Yaa-shuu-chit (Rogue), and K’vms-me’ (Elk), extending inland up to the Taa-xuu-me’ (Applegate River) in Oregon. Tolowa Dee-ni’ (people) have lived in their ancestral territory since time immemorial.

Despite enduring decades of murder, enslavement, and displacement by European American settlers, Tolowa Dee-ni’ still live in and around Del Norte County today and continue to practice their cultural traditions and speak the Tolowa Dee-ni’ language, which is part of the Dené language family. The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation holds more than 900 acres of land and has more than 1,800 tribal citizens.

In Tolowa culture, caring for the forest is an essential responsibility, as all life is interconnected in the forest. Redwood forests are an important part of the Nation’s culture. Redwoods are called K’vsh-chu in the Tolowa Dee-ni’ language. The tree’s roots are used to make ceremonial baskets; the leaves are used for medicine; and wood is used make utilitarian tools and build houses, sweathouses, and dugout canoes. A traditional practice passed down from generation to generation, crafting a redwood canoe takes months. The canoe is revered as a living body with its own spirit, and it provides Tolowa people with the ability to fish for salmon, which is a traditional food.

Learn more about the Tolowa Dee-ni’ in their own words here. New interpretative signage at the Grove of Titans has been developed in consultation with representatives from the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation.