The DEI Spotlight is a monthly forum in the SEAONC Post in partnership with the SEAONC Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity (SE3) Committee to engage our members in the mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the structural engineering profession.
November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the history, culture and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. Part of this is acknowledging and understanding the impact that we and our projects have on native land.
As structural engineers, we encounter these efforts in the environmental permitting phase of new projects. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a set of guidelines that are followed to inform stakeholders and the public of the environmental impacts that a new project will have on a site and to mitigate these impacts to the extent possible. In 2018, the CEQA guidelines were updated to include Assembly Bill 52, which was created to address Tribal Cultural Resources.
This update establishes a consultation process with California Native American Tribes on the Native American Heritage Commission List and creates a new class of resources - Tribal Cultural Resources (TCR) - that are protected under the CEQA guidelines. A TCR is “a site feature, place, cultural landscape, sacred place or object, which is of cultural value to a Tribe and is either on or eligible for the CA Historic Register or a local historic register.” These guidelines play an important role in the ongoing process of preserving Native American land and culture.
On a more personal level, you can familiarize yourself with the Indigenous peoples and nations that occupied Bay Area land before us. Additionally, acknowledging the land on which your office or a project exists can be a first step in bringing more awareness to the importance of land preservation for native communities. The following recreational content might also be of interest during Native American Heritage Month:
SEAONC SE3 Committee
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Group
The SEAONC SE3 Monthly DEI spotlight is a forum to engage our members and share resources relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the structural engineering profession.
You can also find the DEI Spotlight each month SEAONC Post Newsletter!