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About the Author & Student Equity Club
Indigenous Americans = Indians / Native Americans
- America’s original people have often been left untold in history, underrepresented, discriminated against and dismissed in their own country. Yet, the very land WE Mustangs go to class on was once inhabited by people of the Ohlone tribe, indigenous to California and here before the Founding Fathers
- It is important to acknowledge that we sit on their land, on and off MV Campus so that their history, contributions, and once thriving society does not go ignored.
- Moreover, the Ohlone Tribe of California still exists today, so not only does having proper knowledge and acknowledgement of their peoples show respect and admiration, it allows their culture to avoid being forgotten by the larger society.
- By taking a stand on MV Campus to be aware of the history of our land, we are helping to ensure that the Indigenous peoples of California are remembered and respected in the 21st century.
However, we must do more than simply be aware, we must also educate ourselves and others. We must understand how the cultural erasure of California Indigenous not only serves to sever yourself from history, but also propel the oppression that is currently faced by Indigenous Americans of today with their languages dying, their people severing, and their culture dissipating because of forced christianity, bans on cultural practices, and more by the American government (which will be discussed later on)
Bay Area Tribes: The Californian Indigenous of Today & Yesterday
- In Danville, the Bay Miwok people, a part of the major Ohlone Tribe, were the most populated group.
- In contrast to the information that has been provided by our textbooks, Indigenous tribes were advanced within their own communities, adept at dealing with nature and the farthest from uncivilized.
- The Bay Miwok consisted of about 340,000 people, most likely more, during the time of Spanish colonization. Around Contra Costa (the district Danville is in lies elsewhere) and others, they had various territories and settlements - having a prosperous society and agriculture.
- The Bay Miwok especially, although with many different subdivisions, were adverse at maintaining and strengthening wildlife through cultural practices such as burning fields to promote sea growth and being incredibly interactive with the Bay Area’s environment.
- Filled with culture, traditions and more, we must ensure that their history is preserved.
- Moreover, we must be aware of the fact that the Bay Miwok people still exist today, though their populus has dwindled due to colonization and mistreatment.
- Do not stop your education here, as this is just a brief introduction to the packed nuances, lifestyles, traditions and way of living for the Bay Miwok. Find out more here and check out different indigenous territories on https://native-land.ca/ to see who lived in the land around us!
Indigenous People of Today and their Mistreatment
- Close to home, it was discovered that San Ramon Valley lies on American Indigenous burial grounds. Not only does this show the way American Indigenous have been mistreated and disrespected, but also why acknowledgment is important. Without it, we forget their culture and erase their history, leading to an invasive and blatant disrespect to the dead. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Throughout the history of America, the tribes that populated this place long before our founding fathers were treated with cruelty. Genocide to Indigenou American’s arose from direct killings to communities by colonialists, or indirect deaths through disease, famine and more. Many treaties were broken, territories stolen and names forgotten. Although many argue that the Indigenous people were just as much the perpetrator as America was through their aggressive tactics, and initiation of battles - I say to them, would you be complicit under the tyranny of men taking your home, breaking your alliances, and killing your acquaintances all under the name of expansion and/or christianity? Would you not fight back?
- Find out more about the Genocide of Native American’s in this video. Unfortunately, there were far more atrocities than the general list I gave, and we must educate ourselves about these to understand and fight for better treatment of Indigenous Americans today. For, it is a dismal fact that Indigenous Americans are still largely mistreated and oppressed in today’s society.
- Left on reservations with poor pipes that cause dirty water, underfunded schools and clinics, a lack of nearby available jobs, and an economy that keeps people trapped within these communities serves to further impoverish the Indigenous tribes of America and dwindle their population. Moreover, because of the forced severance of American Indigenous tribes to their culture as committed in the past through legislation, such as the banning of controlled forest fires to strengthen plant growth, today’s Indigenous communities are struggling to keep their culture afloat and revitalize what America forced to be forgotten.
- Over 200 languages have become extinct due to the fact that colonists forced Indigenous tribes to speak English after forcing them into school. This is 200 twilights of history and culture lost because of oppression and American legislation,
Truth about California Missions
- I went to Vista Grande. I remember in 4th or 5th grade, we went on a California Mission field trip and learned about the way the Spanish colonizers saved these Indigenous Communities from uncivilization, and led them to the light.
- However, this is far from the truth. The Spanish Missions goal was not to christianize the surrounding tribes, but rather to gain manpower to build their Missions, to gain territory and strip it away from those who had lived there long before them, and to gain power over those they deemed inferior.
- Many ask why the Indigenous people didn’t fight back? Well, although they were powerful fighters and had many advanced resources and weapons, they were outnumbered and overpowered: unable to give a proper battle.
- Learn more about the Hoax of the Californian Missions in this video here: Telling the Truth About California Missions
Donations as a Way to Support
- Donate to some organizations so that us MV students can do more than acknowledge, but also help the various Indigenous Californian communities, and uplift a voice for education.
- Bay Area Indigenous Organizations
- Check out this website to learn more about the various organizations centered in the bay area that do just that.
- Cultural Conservatory: Native run, bay area organization focused on revitalization and preservation of the culture of the various Indigenous communities living in the Bay.