November is American Indian Heritage Month and we want to recognize and celebrate the rich heritage, culture, and contributions made by indigenous communities. Our home offices have been in San Francisco and in West Oakland; both of which are on unceeded Ohlone land. As an interfaith climate justice organization we know that land acknowledgements mean little without action, so we are sharing ways that you can learn more about the land you occupy as well as how you can support the indigenous land stewards.
Native-Land.CA hopes to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning. They strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see history and the present day.
The Landback movement has had some recent victories in California. In Oakland, the city returned 5 acres of Joaquin Miller Park to the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, which represents the Ohlone and Indigenous people from various tribes living in the East Bay.
Near Eureka, the Wiyot people, after a decades long struggle, won back the rights to Tuluwat, an island in Humboldt Bay. It had been the site of a notorious mass murder by white settlers in 1860. And in Marin County, Coast Miwok were able to purchase 26 acres of their ancestral land in Nicasio.
If you live in what is now called East Bay in the Bay Area (and even if you don’t), learn more about Sogorea Te Land Trust and its Shuumi Land Tax. Our Northern California Director, Gregory Stevens, is an active volunteer at their various sacred sites and is looking forward to connecting our CIPL network with their transformative work.
The Shuumi Land Tax directly supports Sogorea Te’s work of rematriation, returning Indigenous land to Indigenous people, establishing community centers, and ceremonial spaces so current and future generations of Indigenous people can thrive in the Bay Area. Shuumi means “gift” in the Ohlone language Chochenyo.
Happy American Indian Heritage Month! If you have other ways you celebrate and work for justice for indigenous communities, we’d love to hear about it. Send Gregory an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.