Challenging Colonialism

Ongoing bi-monthly podcast, available via multiple platforms: RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more. Produced by Martin Rizzo-Martinez and Daniel Stonebloom. Challenging Colonialism links the legacies of colonialism and the consequences of genocide to contemporary issues facing California. The producers see the urgent need to amplify Native voices and to center indigenous perspectives in discussions of environmental justice, school curriculum, land use, and monuments to name just a few examples.

KZSC Santa Cruz – 88.1 – Interview

Interview with John Malkin from KZSC’s Transformation Highway. Malkin interviewed Rizzo-Martinez about his new book, about the Amah Mutsun led movement to remove the mission bell markers, about response and responsibility of Catholic Church & legacy of Indigenous trauma, and more. This link includes abbreviated transcript and links to full 1.5 hour interview.


New Book Network – We are not Animals profile

The New Books Network is a consortium of author-interview podcast channels dedicated to raising the level of public discourse via new media. This interview (audio available at link above) and write up was conducted by Annabel LaBrecque, who is a PhD student in the Department of History at UC Berkeley.

The Kitchen Sisters –  Episode 171 – What Fires Reveal

On August 16, 2020, some 12,000 lightning strikes exploded across northern California, igniting more than 585 wildfires. In the Santa Cruz Mountains scattered blazes grew into one massive burning organism — The CZU August Lightning Complex Fire — eating all in its path, scorching some 86,000 acres, destroying over 900 homes and Big Basin Redwoods, California’s first state park. A year later the fire is still burning deep in some of the roots and stumps of ancient redwoods.

In the aftermath, The Kitchen Sisters turned their microphones on the region, looking for what was lost and what has been found since lightning struck.

This story grew out of a collaboration with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. People who lost their homes in the blaze were invited to bring in artifacts found in the ashes to be photographed by award winning photographer Shmuel Thaler and interviewed by The Kitchen Sisters about the fire, their homes, the environment, their lives. These stories and photographs are part of an exhibition at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.



Walk for the Ancestors Documentary

In 2015, Caroline Holland and her son Kagen, members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indianswalked from Sonoma to San Diego in honor of Indigenous ancestors, and in protest of the canonization of Serra. Along the way they met with tribal members across the state and other allies and supporters, held ceremonies at the mission sites, and helped to build community and bring awareness to the continued presence of Native people in the state. Rizzo-Martinez is working with Caroline and Kagen to turn this story into a documentary. Initial interviews have been filmed and the film is currently in post production. 

Works in progress film preview – Walk for the Ancestors documentary– Password: “The Mi$$ion$”

Online Projects

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Changing Symbolism of California Mission Bells, 1769 to today

This interactive online exhibit explores the symbolism and significance of the mission bells to a diversity of people over time. 



Amah Mutsun Speaker Series, Spring 2022.

On May 14, 2022, the UC Santa Cruz American Indian Resource Center held their Spring Amah Mutsun Speaker Series event, which featured a book talk about We are not Animals.

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History presents: Book Launch Talk for We are not Animals

On March 12, 2022, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History held a book launch for We are not Animals. This talk focused on the story & mythology that formed around Justiniano Roxas, Mission Santa Cruz survivor and the man on the cover of the book.

Santa Clara University Archives & Special Collections Presents: Book Launch Talk for We are not Animals

Santa Clara University Archives & Special Collections hosted a series of talks focused on Indigenous history. The February talk featured Rizzo-Martinez sharing stories from We are not Animals. February 23, 2022.


Removal of El Camino Real Bell Marker

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band worked with Santa Cruz City officials and a broad coalition to remove the final El Camino Real bell marker in downtown Santa Cruz. The tribe invited guests and speakers, many of them Indigenous Californians, to come participate in the removal. August 28, 2021. 


Telling & Teaching the Truth about the California Missions

A conference put together through a collaboration between the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Ohlone-Costanoan/Esselen Nation (OCEN), University of California, Critical Mission Studies Program, UCSC American Indian Resource Center, and the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park (CA State Parks). The day long event included multiple panels and speakers, guests from throughout California. August 27th, 2021.


2021 Panel on Cabrillo College Name Change

“The Impact of Colonization on Native Americans” – panel with Kanyon Sayers-Roods (Mutsun-Ohlone) and Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy (Hupa, Yurok and Karuk), Aptos, CA, April 8, 2021.


2020 Amah Mutsun Speaker Series

UC Santa Cruz American Indian Resource Center hosted an Amah Mutsun Speaker Series panel entitled Critical Mission Studies Research: Telling the Truth. My talk was entitled: “We are not Animals: Indigenous History of Santa Cruz.” November 7, 2020.


Enhancing the Circle of Health: Developing Cultural Humility in Clinical Practice

As part of Native American Heritage Month, the offices of Health Equity and Community Affairs and Diversity and Inclusiveness at WMed hosted the free virtual event, “Enhancing the circle of health: Developing cultural humility in clinical practice,” on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

El Camino or Mission Bell removal, UC Santa Cruz

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band worked with officials at UC Santa Cruz to remove the El Camino Real bell marker that was on campus. The bell was finally removed in June, 2019.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz County (UUFSCC)

Rizzo-Martinez was invited to give a talk about the history of Indgienous people in Santa Cruz by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz County (UUFSCC) on November 18, 2020. His talk was entitled: “Indigenous History of Santa Cruz.”


KZSC interview w/ Transformation Highway, John Malkin (2017) 

Rizzo-Martinez was interviewed by KZSC’s Transformation Highway host John Malkin about his research, on November 23rd, Thanksgiving, 2017.

History of Hip Hop

History of Hip Hop radio series from 2002

Free Radio Santa Cruz radio series on Hip Hop History. This labor of love was a collaboration between four friends that spanned over three different shows on the station.