Several Bay Area sites and cultural events form the basis for the Ceremonial Cycle.
The Ceremonial Cycle was the initiated by the Ohlone as a methodological way to engage with San Francisco and Bay Area communities and open the hearts of people who would come to know the conditions and cultural offerings of the Ohlone people. The “First Events” series instigated the basis of a community which included Ohlone elders, artists, and supporters, and members of the Ohlone Pofiles Project who agreed to meet at Indian Canyon in a series of planning meetings hosted by Anne Marie Sayers to discuss what places in San Francisco would be open to an indigenous presence and would likely lead to support and understanding. Each ceremonial site was chosen carefully:
The highest point in Old San Francisco, Coit Tower is a beacon to ships and an iconic landmark for travelers around the world. Once a year, 3 to 4 thousand natives and their supporters gather at the base of Coit Tower to travel to Alcatraz in remembrance of the occupation of the island, which changed history forever. We wanted to announce the Ohlone return to this engaged community of supporters by projecting Ohlone-themed films onto Coit Tower. The projections were a symbolic gesture; tjey brought together an audience that included indigenous people and their supporters, local media and the great spirit. Tribe leaders Tony Cerda and Anne Marie Sayers invoked their ancestors on the radio and shared the Ohlone films. Many other leading artists and educators joined us in welcoming the hopeful return of the Ohlone and the initiation of our Ceremonial Cycle.
For additional images, media and a fuller description, go here: http://ohloneprofiles.org/2009/11/25/coit-tower-projection-and-kpoo-broadcast/
We were excited to partner with the leading environmental justice educators in San Francisco when they opened their award winning off-the-grid Echo classroom.
Yosemite Slough is a salt water marsh, a unique environment which many believe to be the source of all life on earth. It is also the site of several sacred Ohlone patrimonies or sacred grounds. While Yosemite Slough is now one of the country’s most polluted environments, it remains the controversial space for the piqued contest of the ongoing San Francisco redevelopment project, which includes the impending construction of a new 49ers stadium, a UN compact zone, African-American community center, and hopefully, a cultural center for the Ohlone people.
Please click here for a 30-minute document of an Ohlone Sunrise Healing ceremony for Yosemite Slough on the day that the SF Board of Supervisors voted on Hunters Point Redevelopment and Ohlone inclusion. Public testimony in front of the Board of SF Supervisors. Video production by pollinatethis!
One of the gifts of the natives is reminding us that war and conquest is the basis of our society, and as a society this is something that we continually ignore. The native expulsion and loss is so evident in our history that in the presence of native people, it becomes unavoidable. Chief Tony Cerda has developed a ceremony honoring veterans in an effort to open people’s hearts, which he hopes will lead to understanding and community. Because of the history and cultural climate of San Francisco, we believe our veterans will be strong allies to the Ohlone because they have a first-hand understanding of how the country has failed to honor the people who have died in the name of building an empire.
Click here for more photos about the healing.
Like Yosemite Slough’s Hunters Point Shipyard, Yerba Buena gardens was originally the site of an organized development process, as well as a place of desecrated Ohlone holy sites. We want to honor the Redevelopment Agency for acknowledging these sites and their support for the Ohlone renewal and the bold assertion of a city-led return to San Francisco. Saturday, June 18th, Yerba Buena Gardens will be the grounds for an Ohlone-led Big Time ceremony with other California Indian tribes that support the Ohlone and their return to San Francisco.