Staff portrait for Leslie Patron.
By ,
Content Marketing Manager

With Thanksgiving approaching, many of us are experiencing a duality of emotions. Amid comforting meals and warm gatherings with loved ones, there’s an unsettling awareness of the holiday’s violent roots. This National Native American Heritage Month, we invite you to join us in rethinking November and reeducating ourselves. At POST, we want to celebrate Indigenous peoples’ history and triumphs, as well as their vital ongoing role in caring for the lands we love so much.

The land in POST’s working area has been home to many distinct communities of Native people since time immemorial. We work to conserve and care for these lands — the ancestral territory of at least four contemporary Indigenous communities: the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Muwekma Ohlone, Ramaytush Ohlone and Tamien Nation. These groups have survived centuries of oppression and displacement, and are the past, present and future caretakers of this land. Learn more and access additional resources here.

We know it is crucial to honor the complexities of our Indigenous partners’ experiences. A first step is to focus on listening, learning and taking meaningful action. 

BUILDING KNOWLEDGE

There are many paths to choose from if you aspire to build your knowledge. Consider taking a seminar by a Native advocacy group, going to a local museum exhibit or educational event or spending time with a podcast (especially if it features first-hand Indigenous accounts).
 
We know that the task of getting started can feel daunting. As such, our staff have generated a few lists of resources that have expanded our own points of view. Last November, we compiled our favorite books on California’s Indigenous people. They are worth a read and will have you rethinking our shared local history.
 
This year, we gathered other kinds of media: podcasts, documentaries, TV series, videos and webinars. These resources highlight contemporary Indigenous perspectives, right here in our region and beyond.

COMMUNITIES CLOSE TO HOME

The following resources highlight communities across Northern California.

Challenging Colonialism

Podcast
This podcast covers key contemporary issues that Native communities across California are facing. In interviews, Indigenous guests offer eye-opening insights in their own words. Check out two episodes highlighting local sacred sites: the Shellmound monuments and Juristac. Indigenous-led efforts are currently underway to protect both places from the looming threat of development.

Coming Home to the Cove

Podcast
This moving three-part podcast follows the multigenerational story of a Coast Miwok family. Theresa Harlan chronicles her relatives’ eviction from their homestead on a cove in Tomales Bay. Learn how she involved the broader community in grassroots efforts to protect the history and future of this remarkable place.

Place and Purpose

Podcast
In this live podcast, renowned storytellers Obi Kaufmann and Greg Sarris dive deep into what it means to be from California. Learn about topics like historic policy, traditional ecological knowledge, science and indigenous criticism. Produced by the Federated Indians of Groton Rancheria, this series is grounded in a deep connection to the changing seasons, home and community.

Time Has Many Voices

Documentary on PBS
At the confluence of three Bay Area water sources, there’s an ancient village site where Native peoples once lived and prospered. Today, their descendants, the Muwekma Ohlone, have partnered with archeologists to conduct an intensive study of this area. Airing on PBS this month, this new documentary charts their joint efforts.

Umunhum

Documentary
If you’ve visited Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, you’ve seen Mount Umunhum. The fourth-highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, it is a sacred place for local Indigenous people. This documentary highlights an important collaboration between Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. Together, they restored the mountaintop as a sacred site.

Why These Californians Are Setting Fires on Purpose

News Segment
What are “prescribed burns,” and how are conservation organizations bringing good fire back to the land? Increasingly, scientists are viewing this strategy as one solution to California’s catastrophic wildfires. And they’re calling upon the original stewards of the land to advise them. This ten-minute video offers insights from Val Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY

The following resources highlight communities across the US.

3,000-Year-Old Solutions to Modern Problems

TEDx Talk
Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. In this expansive TEDx talk, she shares about techniques and strategies for Native American food and land management. If her insights inspire you, check out the poetry collection she co-authored.

All My Relations

Podcast
The theme of this podcast is relationships: to land, creatural relatives and one another. Each episode delves into a different topic facing Native people today. It features guests who offer unique perspectives on Indigeneity and all its complexities. Topics include food sovereignty, Afro Indigenous history, activism, connection to place and more!

Heritage Voices

Podcast
In our field, conversations abound about anthropology, as well as ways to steward cultural resources and land. This podcast provides a platform for an essential set of voices. Without them, these discussions would be woefully incomplete! Tune in to hear tribal members and descendent community members weigh in on topics like tribal consultation, collaborative ethnography, indigenous archeology and more.

Newtok

Documentary by Patagonia
In Newtok, Alaska, a tiny Yup’ik village is seeking justice in the face of climate disaster. For decades, they’ve contended with melting permafrost, river erosion and decaying infrastructures. Now, to preserve their culture and community, 360 residents must relocate their village to stabler ground.

Rethinking Thanksgiving: Solidarity with Indigenous Resistance

Webinar by The Indigenous Solidarity Network
Featuring an array of Indigenous leaders, this webinar invites viewers to move past the myths of thanksgiving. You’ll hear inspiring firsthand insights into Indigenous-led movements to resist violence and colonization. If you’re a non-native person and you want to do more, check out the event hosts: The Indigenous Solidarity Network.

Reservation Dogs

TV Show on Hulu
This popular dramedy TV series follows the adventures and mishaps of four Indigenous teenagers. Filmed on location in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, the friends scheme to journey to California. Part of what makes this show so remarkable is its groundbreaking creative team. Every writer, director and series regular on the show is Indigenous.

COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE CONTINENT

The following resources highlight communities across North America.

Lorena, Light-Footed Woman

Documentary on Netflix
Lorena Ramírez of the Rarámuri community resides in the Tarahumara mountain range in Chihuahua, Mexico. When she’s not living the pastoral life, she’s strapping on her sandals to compete in ultramarathons. This stunning film contrasts Lorena’s tranquil home environment with the bustling cities where she races.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Documentary on Netflix
If you’re a rock and roll aficionado, add this must-see documentary to your queue. You’ll peek into an overlooked chapter of music history: the role Indigenous musicians have played to establish the genre. Weaving archival footage with present-day interviews, this film will tip you to the stylings of an array of amazing artists from the US and Canada.

Standing on Sacred Ground

Documentary Series on Amazon Prime
Around the world, Indigenous people are advocating to protect their traditional sacred lands. Cultural survival, human rights and the environment are all at stake. This four-part documentary series highlights the resilience of Native communities in Peru, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, California, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.

 

                          

The land in POST’s working area has been home to many distinct communities of Native people since time immemorial. Learn more here.

About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 80,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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