The Ohlone Profiles Project was created in 2008 to support Ohlone culture in the city of San Francisco. The Ohlone are the indigenous people of the San Francisco Bay, south of the main channel. The largest Ohlone group descends from Ohlone who left San Francisco when Mission Dolores closed in 1834. Ohlone culture has revived during the last thirty years, but rarely in San Francisco. The Ohlone Profiles Project recognized an opportunity to work with cultural leaders to host a cycle of ceremonies in San Francisco. We are currently in the 3rd year of a 4 year cycle of ceremonies that have succeeded in providing a space for Ohlone to publicly return to San Francisco and showcase their rich cultural history.
We hope this is a step towards Cultural Recognition, a process where the city and people of San Francisco can help secure a future for the Ohlone. This is a radical effort to support the many Native people and organizations who are not federally recognized, and to fight against the schismatic nature of the BIA federal recognition process.
Right now, the city and people of San Francicso have an important opportunity to restore the largely forgotten Ohlone culture to public life. During this era of rapid displacement within the city, the arts community is responding with increased support for stabilizing cultural institutions. We are asking for a Cultural Center hosted by Ohlone, run and owned by an inter-tribal consortium, representing Bay Area and Northern California tribes, and supporting the many relocated Native American communities in the Bay Area, such as the Aztec, Cherokee, Lakota, and the many other ‘relocated’ communities.
The cultural center would also provide essential services to the Ohlone people and help ensure their cultural survival by providing a safe space for:
- Lodge Ceremonies
- Organizing office for annual events (Big Time Gathering, Ohlone Days, Veteran’s Day)
- A repository and library for Ohlone artifacts, anthropological and Mission records, and relevant books and research papers. Critically, this could include a genealogical library for family records and lineages.
Below is a timeline of the work the Ohlone Profiles Project has accomplished in the past five years. Please check back for links to our media archive, where we will be sharing documentation of past events as well as educational resources.