California has the highest Native American population in the United States, with 109 federally recognized tribes, including tribes with lands that cross state lines. Additional tribes have never been recognized by the federal government or were formerly recognized but terminated through the government’s termination policy. California’s tribes can range in size from five to 5,000 members and work towards language revitalization, creating an educational curriculum to document and share their histories, protecting land, repatriation, and federal recognition where appropriate.
One way you can support the work of preserving and healing the land, developing cultural educational programs, and acknowledging the history of colonial displacement, violence, and loss of natural resources is by paying a gift of a land tax to the local tribal communities. While a gift will not erase the past, it will contribute to the self-determination and sovereignty of the local indigenous communities as well as help fund their programming documenting their histories, and preserving their language and culture. Gaia Passages’ program circles gather in over 9 distinct watersheds on unceded lands. We support both the Sorgorea Te’ Land Trust and contribute to the Amah Mutsun Land Trust to support their efforts of cultural healing, rematriation of territories, and regeneration of the land and water.
The Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is a San Francisco Bay Area-based urban Indigenous women-led land trust. They envision “a Bay Area in which Ohlone language and ceremony are an active, thriving part of the cultural landscape, where Ohlone place names and history is known and recognized and where intertribal Indigenous communities have affordable housing, social services, cultural centers and land to live”. Their Shuumi Land Tax is a completely voluntary contribution that non-Indigenous people living on traditional Lisjan Ohlone territory make to support their work. The word Shuumi means gift in the Ohlone language Chochenyo.