PINOLE, Calif. — In what may be the first such tie, the city of Pinole is proposing a sisterhood with an American Indian tribe.
Mayor Ann Williams, who is suggesting a cultural exchange program similar to a sister-city plan, said it appears to be the first time a California city has proposed such a relationship.
The mayor said she will contact leaders of the American Indian community and the Northern California Tribal Council to see what they think of the idea. Such a relationship must be approached with sensitivity, with the emphasis on cultural exchange, she said.
"We don't want them to think we would patronize them or think of them as charity cases," Williams said.
"We would need the involvement of the community, particularly residents of Native American heritage. There could be involvement at the school level and through service clubs," she said.
Pinole, a city of 17,400 15 miles northeast of San Francisco, stands on an Indian shell mound, Williams said. The city's seal features a Native American warrior, and Ohlone Indians lived in the area.
Reservations in Northern California include Redding Rancheria in the Mount Shasta area and Hoopa Valley in Humboldt County.