Native Land Acknowledgment - 510 Families

Native Land Acknowledgment

{510} Families Native Land Acknowledgment

{510} Families is a virtual community of families operating in the East Bay Area of Northern California. As such, we are based in the traditional, unceded territory of the Muwekma Ohlone tribe, the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, and the Miwok, Me-Wuk, and Karkin people. We recognize that this land remains of great importance to the Native peoples who have survived over two centuries of genocide and colonization and that this acknowledgment is not an all-encompassing solution to our accountability. Rather, we have a collective responsibility as residents and visitors of this land to educate ourselves and our peers about its past and present and assert the sovereign rights of its First Peoples.

east bay hills
The beautiful East Bay is unceded Ohlone land.

Educate Our Children & Ourselves About Native Californians

Learning about oppression and privilege means going beyond what we already know. Existing California history school curriculums largely fail to tell the whole truth about how California was settled, the devastating impacts the mission system and the Gold Rush period had on Indigenous communities, and the persistence of colonialism today. As said by Dr. Joely Proudfit, director of the Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at CSU San Marcos, it’s important for children to “learn the difference between treating someone with humanity and with inhumanity… they see difference, they see diversity, and they need to be told the truth.” We must think critically about curriculums throughout the state and strive to provide learning opportunities for children beyond the California missions and the Gold Rush. Education is a crucial way to heal historical trauma and combat the violence of colonial thinking.

Learn & Celebrate what Native People are Doing Today

Spending money and otherwise supporting the work of Native people today can also honor this truth. Diversify your bookshelves. Here is a great list of kid’s books by Canadian Indigenous authors for different ages (We particularly recommend Shi-shi-etko– a beautifully-illustrated picture book by Nicola I. Campbell that depicts the resilience of Native cultures amidst adversity of residential schools).

Take your kids to celebrate the Indigenous cultures around us by attending local Native events– like these hosted by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe– or check out this Indigenous Led Youth Program by Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.

Eat a meal together at Wahpepah’s Kitchen near Fruitvale BART; talk about the foods and their meanings.

you are on native land beanie hat
A timeless statement intended to ignite conversation amongst non-Indigenous communities. ‘YAONL’ comes from an Indigenous perspective and the phrase is intended for everyone including the wearer. | Photo: Urban Native Era

Buy from Native businesses like Urban Native Era, whose ‘You Are On Native Land’ design is a great way to show solidarity and spark conversations.

Contribute Money and Pay Your Land Tax

If you are able, you can also support federal recognition and language and cultural revitalization efforts of local tribes politically or by donating to the following funds:

Statement of Appreciation and Acknowledgement

{510} Families recognizes that we benefit from living on, working in, and visiting the traditional homelands of the Muwekma Ohlone tribe, the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, and the Miwok, Me-Wuk, and Karkin people, and that the wealth and prosperity of the state of California come from the theft and exploitation of their land, resources, labor, and people. It is our collective obligation to respect our position as guests on this land and honor the cultures, histories, and contributions of the First Peoples around us in our support of Indigenous sovereignty.

berkeley hills looking toward the water
What we call Berkeley | Photo: Alec Flett

Publically acknowledging that we benefit from Native Lands is part of the conversation, not the end of it.

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