For thousands of years, the Bay Area has been the home of many, diverse groups of Indigenous Peoples with complex cultures and relationships to the land. Join Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and California State Parks for a three-part webinar series delivered by Mark Hylkema, California State Parks Archaeologist and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Foothill College. Mark will draw from over 40 years of experience studying the history of California native people, focusing on Indigenous cultures of the Peninsula and the South Bay. This is an exciting opportunity to hear Mark share his knowledge and experience in an online webinar format for the very first time! The event is also supported by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
Register once and you’re in for all three webinars.


Indigenous Peoples of the Bay Area Part 1: Overview – June 12

Before the Spanish arrived here and before California became a part of the United States, the Bay Area was one of the most densely populated and linguistically diverse areas in North America. This session is a broad overview of historic Indigenous communities in our area based on what we know of archaeological studies and oral histories. Participants will learn a basic framework for understanding the complex and varied native communities of the Peninsula and the South Bay. 


Indigenous Peoples of the Bay Area Part 2: Ethnobotany and Land Stewardship – June 19

California ecosystems have evolved with thoughtful active management by diverse human communities over thousands of years. This session will examine some of the interactions Indigenous Peoples of the Bay Area had with our landscape. We will highlight specific plant and animal relationships, as well as stewardship practices using examples from our local landscape. 


Indigenous Peoples of the Bay Area Part 3: Economy, Spirituality, and Culture – June 26

This session will focus on interesting aspects of what we know about historic Indigenous culture, society, economy and spirituality. Participants will hear about examples of trade networks that existed, taking products made and collected by Bay Area communities far and wide. They’ll also learn about aspects of village life, spirituality, and sacred relationships with our local landscape. We’ll also share some resources for how you can learn and support contemporary Indigenous communities in our area. 


More about our Instructor, Mark Hylkema

Mark Hylkema holds an M.A. of Anthropology from San Jose State University. He worked as an Archaeologist with the California Department of Transportation for 12 years, prior to his current role as an Archaeologist and Tribal Liaison for the Santa Cruz District of California State Parks. Mark has led a variety of investigations throughout the Peninsula and South Bay, including many areas protected by Peninsula Open Space Trust and our Partners. A primary focus of his work has been to support contemporary local Indigenous groups throughout his career. 


This event is part of POST’s community event series, which is open to the general public as well as POST donors. We hope you’ll join us! We also curate a separate series of private events for our donors. Learn how you can support POST here:

About our Partners

Peninsula Open Space Trust protects and cares for open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Since 1977, POST has protected over 76,000 acres in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is an independent special district in the San Francisco Bay Area that has preserved a regional greenbelt system of over 63,000 acres of public land and manages 26 open space preserves.

Midpen logo.

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