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Indigenous Land Acknowledgment

Last updated on Sep 01, 2022

Land Acknowledgment involves publicly recognizing and respecting those who have continuously lived upon this land since time immemorial. While fairly common in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, it is less widespread in the United States. The following guidelines and resources are intended to help the CCA community integrate the practice of Land Acknowledgment into the school’s culture.

CCA’s first official public land acknowledgment was delivered in February 2019 by President Stephen Beal at a groundbreaking ceremony for Founders Hall, scheduled to open in fall 2020. Prior to that, Land Acknowledgment had already begun to emerge as a cross-divisional practice in individual courses across CCA.

This Land Acknowledgment was collectively authored by the Decolonial School and in dialogue with CCA Indigenous consultant Kanyon CoyoteWoman Sayers-Roods (CEO of Kanyon Konsulting, Founder of Indian Canyon Two-Spirit Society, Cultural Director and COO of Costanoan Indian Research, and Cultural Representative and Native Monitor for Indian Canyon Mutsun Band of Costanoan Ohlone People.)

CCA current and historical campuses are located in Huichin and Yelamu, also known as Oakland and San Francisco, on the unceded territories of Chochenyo and Ramaytush Ohlone peoples.

Background Content

Ohlone is a fairly recent identifying term that is in current use collectively for Indigenous communities in the Bay Area; it replaces the term Costanoan (from Spanish costaño, meaning "coast dweller") and brings together multiple groups under one identity heading. However, both of these terms are misnomers. Indigenous peoples have their own ways of self-identifying. The Ohlone are the predominant Indigenous group of the Bay Area, including the Chochenyo and the Karkin in the East Bay, the Ramaytush in San Francisco, the Yokuts in the South Bay and Central Valley, and the Muwekma tribe throughout the region. There are eight different Ohlone language or regional subgroups, including Chochenyo, Ramaytush, Karkin, Tamyen, Awaswas, Mutsun, Rumsen/Rumsien, and Chalon. (Source)

Other Bay Area Indigenous groups include the Graton Rancheria community (Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo), Kashaya, Patwin, and Mishewal Wappo in the North Bay, and the Bay Miwok in the East Bay. (Source)

Other regional and California Indigenous groups include the Amah-Mutsun Band of Ohlone/Costanoan Indians, the Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen Nation, the Costanoan Band of Carmel Mission Indians, the Costanoan Ohlone Rumsen-Mutsen Tribe, the Costanoan-Rumsen Carmel Tribe, and the Indian Canyon Mutsun Band of Costanoan, Mutsun Indians, Chalon.

Active communities of Indigenous peoples of the Bay Area include The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, Confederated villages of Lisjan/Ohlone, 
Chochenyo of the East Bay, Him•re-n Ohlone, Bay Miwok, Plains Miwok, Mutsun Community Groups of the South Bay and many more in Ohlone Territory
. To learn more, see the following organizations: Amah Mutsun Land Trust; American Indian Child Resource Center; Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirit Powwow; California Consortium for Urban Indian Health; California Indian Environmental Alliance; California Indian Museum and Cultural Center; Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley; International Indian Treaty Council; Intertribal Friendship House; Lessons of Our Land; Native American Health Center; Native Land Digital; Sogorea Te’ Land Trust; Sovereign Bodies Institute; The Cultural Conservancy; Indian People Organizing for Change (IPOC).

Listen to the full version of CCA’s Indigenous Land Acknowledgment read aloud.