The formation of the Ohlone Profiles Project gave way to the “First Events,” a series of three events that took place in San Francisco and aimed to answer questions about who the Ohlone are and issues surrounding their return to and recognition from San Francisco. Read more and view photos and ephemera from all three events below.
Not What Next, But What Does it Mean?
The third session in the series, “Ohlone and their Territory,” explores the future of the tribe(s). Over five Ohlone groups are applying for federal recognition. Nationwide, over two hundred tribes are in the application process. The Bureau of Indian Affairs deals with about two applications per year. Some applications require as many as 30,000 pages of documentation. For most California tribes, there are mutually exclusive requirements making success highly unlikely.
Federal Recognition is further complicated because it is also a mixed blessing, even if you can get it. The outcome is rights to gamble and sell tobacco, but virtually no rights over gas or uranium mining. And yes you get to demand universities give back the bones of your ancestors, you don’t get to put them back where they came from or reclaim the ancient, sacred, burial sites.
During this session we will host members of the Tsi Akum Maidu, who are working on a new approach to recognition, based on cultural continuity. We will also be hosting several Ohlone leaders.