This month, you're supporting Native American peoples to defend their sacred sites and ecosystems.
Photo credit: Sacred Fire Foundation
Indian People Organizing for Change (IPOC) is a community-based organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its members, including Ohlone tribal members and conservation activists, work together in order to accomplish social and environmental justice within the Bay Area American Indian community.
The Winnemem Wintu tribe lives in the McCloud River watershed near Mt. Shasta, in the far north of California, a land they have lived on for at least 6,000 years. The tribe is fundraising to re-establish a population of the California native Chinook Salmon - a critical species for ecosystem health and the culture of the Winnemem Wintu.
Renee Castro is a native to the Bay Area. Born in Oakland California, her heritage stems from the Ohlone Native American tribe. Her background serves as inspiration for much of her art: the themes of lost identity, storytelling and her character’s deeply-rooted connections to the natural world. Her other influences for the work she creates include Mexican and Spanish folklore, pop culture, broken-hearted femme fatales, and disheveled muses.
Renee is a graduate of California College of the Arts MFA program. Her artwork has been shown in numerous galleries throughout the Bay Area and beyond. When she is not creating art for upcoming shows, she teaches Basic Drawing and Printmaking to children, teens, and adults at Studio One Art Center in Oakland. Dabbles in tattooing and takes on commissions from public and private patrons. Some of her commissions include companies like: DSF, The Loin SF, Wonderland Gallery, the San Francisco Public Library, The Guardian, Oakland Animal Services, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Her future endeavors include moving to Los Angeles California in the Fall 2017 and exploring new mediums in the field of art.
Corrina Gould & Johnella LaRose
"Women have a different connection with land. We are tenders of the baskets, all of these things that create the baskets. The medicine keepers, you know. And its not just indigenous people, but women from all over the world. My children's umbilical cords were buried in this land. We buried our loved ones in this land and is our responsibility as women to not only take care of the babies but also to lay people down to rest. That is our job, so we have a particular connection to land as sacred."
Join Run for Salmon 2017!
Participate in the Salmon Run, September 9-23 2017, in solidarity with the Winnemem Wintu! Kayaking, biking, running, or roadtripping are all encouraged.
Spread the word for the Winnemem Wintu
Share the GoFundMe campaign with your friends and family and invite them to support the Winnemem’s restoration effort.
15 min read
Caleen Sisk is the spiritual leader and tribal chief of the Winnemem Wintu. Read and watch a video about her powerful leadership, vision, and deep commitment to the cultural survival of her people.
Photo credit: Winnemem Wintu
9 min read
Migrating salmon are a critical source of nutrients for inland forest ecosystems in along the Pacific Coast. Learn more about how salmon play a critical role in healthy rivers and forests.
Photo credit: Skeena Media
60 min watch
An award-winning 60min documentary about the Winnemem Wintu and their vision to bring their Salmon home to the McCloud River.
Can you commit to taking at least one action this month in support of indigenous self-determination?
Support IPOC’s Campaign for the West Berkeley Shellmound
Follow the Shellmound Facebook Group for regular updates and calls to action on the West Berkeley Shellmound, the oldest of the Ohlone burial sites in the Bay Area.
Live in the East Bay?
If yes, then you live on traditional Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone land. (If you live in San Francisco, you live on Ramaytush Ohlone land.)
Here is a concrete opportunity to calculate your “ tax” for renting or owning property in the Bay Area. For those of us who are not Indigenous to this land, the Shuumi Land Tax is a way to acknowledge this history and the Ohlone community. The tax goes to support the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.
Mark your calendar: August 14th, “Living on Ohlone Land” panel of Indigenous women
Corrina Gould, co-founder of IPOC, will be speaking as part of a panel discussion with other Indigenous women leaders including Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu tribe.
3 min watch
A powerful video about Corinna Gould, Johnella LaRose, and IPOC’s vision for cultural recognition of indigenous people in the Bay Area.
5 min read
A powerful article focused on the case of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. It describes the necessity of land repatriation as part of active solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.
15 min read
Read about the history of the Ohlone people, the heart-gripping stories of resisting shellmound destruction, and the beautiful forms of resistance today the Ohlone are using to reclaim land and identity.
Photo credit: Sogorea Te' Landtrust
8 min read
The story of land dispossession and desecration of Ohlone shellmounds in the Bay Area, and how IPOC rose in response to claim indigenous spiritual and cultural identity.
“All of these things that the United States tries to do to squash us have not worked. It’s failed. We still know who we are. We still know how to pray in our own way. We still know where our sacred sites are. And we know how to bring back our language.”
- Corrina Gould, Chochenyo/Karkin Ohlone, Founder of Indian People Organizing for Change
What about this month's materials inspired you? What made you uncomfortable? What questions or ideas are you left with?
Share your thoughts, questions, and resources with other Blue Heart members across the country through our private Facebook group.
This month, we sent $1,390 to IPOC and the Winnemem Wintu!
Each month, at least $10 of your subscription goes to that month's partner organization. For Boost Up, Pollinate, and Amplify Members, $20/mo or more goes to our partners.
By choosing to be a Blue Heart member you are investing in social change not supported by traditional philanthropy. We believe that model is broken. Responding to the root causes of injustice requires building the self-determination of the communities most marginalized by our dominant, extractive economy. And this means funding the small, scrappy, movement-building organizations on the front lines. By voting with your dollar, you believe this type of transformation is possible.