If you live anywhere in North or South America and are not yourself Indigenous to those lands, you are living in the homelands of someone else. Please take the time to learn about whose lands you are living on, and look for ways to learn from and about the people of those lands. There are many ways to learn this, native-land.ca is one way to do so. Included on this resource page are various websites and resources for further learning.
To learn more about Indigenous California, it is important to start by reading and listening to Indigenous Californians. There is no substitute for people speaking from real, lived, first-hand experience and family history. My work is supplementary to works like theirs, helping to contextualize and, ideally, inspiring readers to seek out Indigenous scholars, authors, artists, and speakers. For example, Deborah Miranda’s Bad Indians offers a crucial first hand perspective of the Monterey Bay Indigenous history covered in We are not Animals.
Author of California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History, We Were All Like Migrant Workers Here”: Work, Community and Memory on California’s Round Valley Reservation, 1850-1941, and We are the Land: History of Native California.
Co-Author with Robert Jackson of Indians, Franciscans, and Spanish Colonization: the Impact of the Mission System on California Indians.
Executive Director of Association of Ramaytush Ohlone and author of “Native Persistence: Marriage, Social Structure, Political Leadership, and Intertribal Relations at Mission Dolores, 1777–1800” among other articles.
Rupert and Jeanette Costo
Authors of Missions of California: A Legacy of Genocide.
Author of Becoming Story: A Journey among Seasons, Places, Trees, and Ancestors, Grand Avenue: A Novel in Stories, Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream, Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts, and more.
Author of “Making Indian Land in the Allotment Era: Northern California’s Indian Rancherias,” co-author of “More Than Missions: Native Californians and Allies Changing the Story of California History,” among other articles.
Author of The Archaeology of Refuge and Recourse: Coast Miwok Resilience and Indigenous Hinterlands in Colonial California, co-editor with Lee Panich for Archaeologies of Indigenous Persistence and Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions: New Perspectives from Archaeology and Ethnohistory.
Author of “Our Sacred Waters: Theorizing Kuuyam as a Decolonial Possibility,” and other articles.
Children’s book, written in collaboration with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. Explores the impact of the mission bells from the perspectives of local animals. Suitable for all ages. Written by Judith Scott, illustrated by Lydia Gibson.
Co-edited by Dahr Jamail and Stan Rushworth, this collection of twenty interviews provides a powerful, intimate collection of conversations with Indigenous Americans on the climate crisis and the Earth’s future. An innovative work of research and reportage, We Are the Middle of Forever places Indigenous voices at the center of conversations about today’s environmental crisis. The book draws on interviews with people from different North American Indigenous cultures and communities, generations, and geographic regions, who share their knowledge and experience, their questions, their observations, and their dreams of maintaining the best relationship possible to all of life. A welcome antidote to the despair arising from the climate crisis, We Are the Middle of Forever brings to the forefront the perspectives of those who have long been attuned to climate change and will be an indispensable aid to those looking for new and different ideas and responses to the challenges we face.
Additional links to important websites & resources:
The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band has worked with officials in the City of Santa Cruz to remove the El Camino Real bell markers. The movement has just begun, as these markers have lined California’s Highway 101 since the early 1900’s, intended to celebrate a false history and romanticization of the California missions. Consider supporting Californian Tribal members who are calling for their removal, and for telling the truth about this history.
The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is currently working hard to protect one of their last remaining undeveloped sacred places: Juristac. This area is where local tribes historical held their sacred Kuksui (Big Head) ceremony. It is now in danger of being turned into a gravel pit. Please visit this site, read the many letters of support (including mine), sign the petition, and get involved!
In 2015, Caroline Ward and her son Kagen, members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, walked 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. We are currently working on turning this story into a documentary.
Please consider learning about and supporting the work of Corrina Gould and others in the East Bay. Corrina and her people have worked been hard at work for decades to protect the sacred sites, shellmounds, to build the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, and to find ways for people to donate towards rematriation with innovations like the Shuumi Land Tax.
The Toppling Mission Monuments & Mythologies Conference was held in 2020, and included an incredible line up of Indigenous Californian scholars, community members and activists speaking about these issues. If you missed this amazing event, please consider taking the time to hear and see them speak.
Run4Salmon – A prayerful journey led by Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe to restore our salmon runs, protect our waters, and our indigenous lifeways.
West Coast Water Justice – Podcast focused on Indigenous centered water justice movement
If you live in the California San Francisco Bay Area, I encourage you to take the time to attend events and support the work of local Indigenous peoples. This list includes some of the websites for Bay Area Tribal peoples and groups. If any of the information on this website is of interest to you, please also sign up for the mailing lists and supporting the events and activities sponsored by local tribes. Local Native communities continue to work hard to protect sacred sites, maintain their cultures and practices, protect the environment and persevere despite centuries of genocidal policies and injustice.