The 13th annual Bloody Island Memorial, remembers the massacre of Lake County Pomo people that occurred on an island at the north end of Clear Lake, California on May 15, 1850. It was a place where the Pomo had traditionally gathered for ceremonies. After the act of genocide, it became known as Bloody Island.
The massacre, sometimes called the “Clear Lake Massacre”, was carried out by the US Army Captain Nathaniell Lyons, in retaliation for the murder of settlers Andrew Kelsey and Charles Stone. The two were enslaving, brutalizing, raping, starving and killing Pomo Indians. Accounts vary as to the number of dead Pomo, ranging between 60 and up to 400. It included elders, women and babies. The army killed 75 more Indians along the Russian River.
One of the few Pomo survivors of the Bloody Island Massacre was a 6-year-old girl named Ni’ka, or Lucy Moore. She hid underwater and breathed through a tule reed. Her descendants have formed the Lucy Moore Foundation to work for better relations between the Pomo and residents of California.
An all night dance ceremony starts Friday May 18th around dusk to dawn. Saturday May 19th a sunrise ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5am, on Reclamation Road, at the Bloody Island Memorial marker off Highway 20. The event ends around 12noon.