President Zingg's Remarks

Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria
Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony
October 28, 2005

Good morning, and, especially to our guests and visitors, welcome to this campus, this old camp ground, this place of memory and promise. And to this occasion that underscores the promises we make to each other now and for the future based on the promises we owe to those who have come and gone before us.

There are lovely words in the document we will be signing today. Words like protect, preserve, consult, cooperate, agreement, honor. Words that true friends and good neighbors use.

Words that bind and define.

Words that connect and oblige us.

Words that are important and satisfying; words that can never be said too often; words that are long overdue. But what makes these words to live by and to stand by are the messages all around us that do not need words to communicate something powerful and beautiful and timeless.

Like the sounds of the creek just outside,

Like a handshake between two people who trust each other,

Like the shared witness of a proud moment,

Like the fresh awareness of common ground.

So, by this creek, on this common ground, among these witnesses, and with this pledge, we affirm the truth of our words and the strength of our resolve to respect and enact them.

We declare that our communities—tribal and University—share values and land, values, in fact, in the land, and that we will forge something exemplary and trustworthy together.

I could not be prouder of my University, or more honored to be a signatory to this document.

Thank you, Steve Santos, the Mechoopda Tribal Council, and all the members of the Mechoopda Tribal Community of Chico Rancheria for making this day, this agreement, happen.

We will not fail your trust.