In honor of Native American Heritage Month, and rather than celebrating the traditional colonial Thanksgiving holiday, we are sharing a recent land acknowledgement and call to action from UC Press Senior Publicist Katryce Lassle. This acknowledgement encourages UC Press staff to engage with the work and leadership of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.
“Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is based in Huchiun, in unceded Lisjan territory, what is now known as Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Piedmont, Emeryville and Albany, California. . . . Officially ‘unrecognized’ by the U.S. federal government as a tribe, the Confederated Villages of Lisjan have no reservations or protected land bases and receive none of the rights, benefits, compensations or protections afforded to Indian tribes under U.S. laws. The Lisjan have no access to federal scholarships or housing grants, and grossly inadequate protections of cultural, burial, and sacred sites.” (Source: https://sogoreate-landtrust.org/lisjan-history-and-territory/)
The UC Press offices stand on this land, and engaging with Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is a great way for UC Press staff (whether on-site or remote) and our authors, partners, and readers to support the important work of returning land and stewardship to Indigenous people in California.
Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is working to conserve and revitalize Lisjan cultural practices, ancestral land, sacred sites, and the Chochenyo language. Their website provides detailed information and action items for those of us living, working, and socializing on Lisjan Ohlone land.
WATCH: Indigenous Sovereignty: One Land Plot at a Time | KQED
Some of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust’s rematriated land projects:
- Lisjan is a traditional village site in East Oakland — the land was donated to the Trust by the nonprofit Planting Justice. The site includes gardens, rain-catching and water storage facilities, and a Himmetka, a “culturally based emergency response hub” that provides trainings, tools and supplies, and a seed library.
- Gill Tract Community Farm is a collaborative urban farming site, in partnership with UC Berkeley
- Rammay is a West Oakland community garden site in collaboration with Northern California Land Trust
- ‘Ookwe is “the first park returned to the care of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan and Sogorea Te’ Land Trust,” located on the site of a shellmound that confirms an Ohlone village was here previously
Options for giving back via the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust:
- Volunteer at their gardens
- Visit their recommended readings to learn more about the land, rematriation, and decolonization
- Sign up for their newsletter for updates on upcoming events, actions, and Land Trust projects
- Follow them on Instagram @sogoreatelandtrust
- Shuumi Land Tax: Use their calculator to determine a suggested amount based on your relationship to the land, or make a custom one-time or recurring donation