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Living on Ohlone Land: Indigenous Women Leaders Discuss Building Reciprocity with Local Indigenous Communities

  • First Congregational Church of Oakland (Reidenbach Hall) 2501 Harrison St Oakland, CA 94612 USA (map)

CCNH is proud to be a sponsor of this event!

Living on Ohlone Land

Indigenous Women Leaders Discuss Building Reciprocity with Local Indigenous Communities

When: August 6th, 2017 @ 2-4pm  

Where: The First Congregational Church of Oakland, Reidenbach Hall.

Cost: Suggested donation of $20, no one turned away for lack of funds.

This event is wheelchair accessible.

Please reserve your spots through Brown Paper Tickets. This event is expected to sell out!

 Whether we acknowledge it, we are always in relationship with Indigenous peoples by living in, organizing, and producing events on their ancestral homelands. There are hundreds of Native Nations working to reaffirm their sovereignty and protect cultural practices, traditional lands, waters, and natural resources - the entirety of North America (Turtle Island) is made up of distinct and overlapping Indigenous territories. Each decision we make, each action we take, affects Indigenous peoples. Organizations whose work is grounded in social justice or environmental protection have a distinct obligation to integrate local Indigenous communities and issues into their mission.

This panel gathers to create opportunities for all people in Ohlone and neighboring territories to work together to re-envision the Bay Area community and what it means to live on Ohlone land.  Local Indigenous leaders Corrina Gould (Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone), Ruth Orta (Him*re-n Ohlone, Bay Miwok, and Plains Miwok), Ann Marie Sayers (Mutsun Ohlone), Chief Caleen Sisk (Winnemem Wintu), and moderator Desirae Harp (Mishewal Wappo, Diné) will be sharing information about:

  • Ohlone and Bay Area Indigenous practices and how people can build relationships with local Native people into their organization's regular work.

  • Ohlone and Native Bay Area History & Geography. 

  • Deepening our practical understanding of settler colonialism and being  accountable to confronting Indigenous erasure here on Ohlone territories. 

  • Respecting time-honored practices and the ways in which local Indigenous communities desire to be acknowledged by non-Natives, modeling practices of respect and permission between communities, such as the Ohlone and Winnemem Wintu of the Shasta region. 

  • Awareness of how to avoid forms of tokenization, such as token involvement, invitations and superficial land acknowledgement. 

  • Current Indigenous-led campaigns, including the Sogorea Te Land Trust, the fight to protect the West Berkeley Shellmound, and the Run for Salmon.

Indigenous Peoples & Practices on Ohlone Territory

The Ohlone are the original peoples of what is now known as the greater San Francisco Bay Area. They comprise more than a dozen tribes and languages and Ohlone territories span from Carmel to San Francisco and the East Bay. The Bay Area is also home to a large and diverse population of Indigenous people residing here on Ohlone homelands, in part due to 1950s federal termination/removal policy, which forcibly relocated numerous Native communities from reservations to urban centers such as San Francisco and Oakland with the goal of assimilation.  

Ohlone and Native people of other nations living and visiting here have worked together to respond to requests for territorial acknowledgements and other engagements.  In addition Indigenous peoples have always visited here respecting local practices and protocols that continues present day. How do organizations honor established practices and both this specificity and diversity? Join us for an evening of #LOL - Living on Ohlone Land, to dive deeper in not only acknowledging Indigenous peoples presence here, but to also practice being in respectful, reciprocal, and appropriate relationship with local Indigenous communities in N. California.


  • Corrina Gould - Confederated Villages of Lisjan/ Ohlone woman, born and raised in Oakland, CA, the village of Huichin. She has worked on preserving and protecting the ancient burial sites of her ancestors in the Bay Area for over two decades, and is the Co-Founder and a Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native-run grassroots organization that works on Indigenous peoples’ issues. IPOC sponsored the Shellmound Peace Walk between 2005-2009 to bring about education and awareness of the desecration of the sacred sites in the greater Bay Area and hosts the annual Shellmound gathering at Emeryville Mall where an ancient site was desecrated by development.

  • Ruth Orta, Him*re-n Ohlone, Bay Miwok and Plains Miwok.  She has an active, ongoing role and responsibility in the Bay Area as both Most Likely Descendents, and Native American Monitors.  She has been involved with the Ohlone Gathering at East Bay Regional Park District for the last 24 years.  She is a mother of seven, grandmother of 17,  great grandmother of 37 and still counting, and seven great, great grandchildren and still counting.

  • Ann Marie Sayers - Mutsun/Ohlone, lives at Indian Canyon, the only recognized California Indian Country in the California coastal region between Santa Barbara to the south, and Rohnert Park to the north. She is the Director of Costanoan Indian Research, Inc., and frequently participates in state and national meetings to restore ownership of cultural heritage to Native Americans and to educate government officials regarding Native American ways and rights. Ann Marie lives to honor her ancestors and to share traditional land with all indigenous people in need of authentic, sacred and traditional land for ceremony.

  • Chief Caleen Sisk is the Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who practice their traditional culture and ceremonies in their territory along the McCloud River watershed in Northern California.

  • Desirae Harp is a member of the Mishewal Wappo tribe from the central coast of California, and she is a descendant of the Diné Nation from the Southwest. She is a singer/songwriter, cultural bearer/activist, and teacher. She sings with Audiopharmacy, an internationally acclaimed world music/ reggae/ and hip hop ensemble. She uses her music as a teaching tool to facilitate workshops on cultural survival, social justice, and environmental justice with youth across the country. She is the founder of the Mishewal Ona*staTis language revitalization program, and she works with the run4salmon campaign to restore the California water ways, salmon runs, and indigenous ways of life.

Earlier Event: July 9
Summer birds at Lake Merritt
Later Event: August 13
Invasion at Lake Merritt!