words by Gregg Castro, t'rowt'raahl
For many decades, EcoFarm has had their annual “homecoming” along the shores of my Rumsien Ohlone lands in the place now called Asilomar. Our stories tell us that we were placed here by Creator at the dawn of the world, to be the stewards of this landscape. We learned from the ‘First People’ who formed the world we see today, the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill this sacred obligation, which we faithfully carried out for thousands of years, and hundreds of generations.
And - we are still here.
Our unbreakable bond with the land we walk on assures us that we will continue to be here - A Resilient People - long after present burdens have past and the current oppressive social structure has faded away.
We will still be here.
We are still here in all the places that Creator intended for us; still doing the work of our ancestors and descendants - taking care of the land, taking care of each other. That is the most sacred responsibility. We believe that it is all of yours as well.
I ask that you reflect in your hearts if that isn’t the core of the efforts that you do in “farming”. For indigenous people, that is such a simple word for such a deeply profound and sacred obligation.
And such ‘farming’ takes many forms, and may not involve “dirt” as we ordinarily think, but involve the cultivating of relationships with living things - ALL living things. Those ties are vital to the resilience that we are all striving for - we can not stand alone in this work.
The “WE” in ‘we are still here’ applies to us all and binds us as humans to each other, the land that give us life and to the future we are trying to salvage. In this, I suggest you bond in some way with the indigenous people of the place you are at; they have so much they can share with you in healing the wounds of our world and creating resilient communities, for all of us. Together.
-- Gregg Castro, t'rowt'raahl Salinan / rumsien & ramaytush Ohlone
EcoFarm recognizes the leadership and stewardship of Indigenous communities in building sustainable, just, and healthy food systems.
We would like to direct you to our Calls to Action below to support Indigenous organizations and campaigns working to restore Indigenous land stewardship and preserve threatened sacred sites.
Calls to Action
EcoFarm stands in solidarity with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band in saying no to the proposed Sargent Quarry mining project, located on Amah Mutsun sacred lands. To learn more about the campaign to protect Juristac, we invite you to visit the Protect Juristac website.
- Sign the petition and share it on social media and by email.
- Call, email, or write to Santa Clara County Planning Commissioners and Supervisors asking them to deny approval of the Sargent Quarry Project. CC Protect Juristac to your email: email@example.com. County contact information is available on this page.
- Like the Protect Juristac Facebook page to get the latest updates.
- Show your support by attending meetings, events and gatherings in support of the preservation of Juristac and Mutsun cultural heritage.
- Donate to the Amah Mutsun campaign to protect Juristac on this donation page, and share it with others! Funds are needed for legal defense/consulting fees and campaign costs such as event-related expenses, printing fees, and transportation costs for tribal members to participate in events and meetings.
- The Santa Clara County planning department are targeting March 16, 2022 for the publication of the mining project’s draft environmental impact report (EIR). Once the EIR is released, a 60-day public comment period will begin. We encourage you to send a comment letter and take part in events/actions during this comment period. To stay informed about what actions to take, we invite you to sign up to the Protect Juristac action alert mailing list, available here.
West Berkeley Shellmound
Help protect the West Berkeley Shellmound — an Ohlone/Lisjan sacred site under direct threat of development.
- Get informed about the sacred site and the campaign here.
- Donate to the Shellmound Legal Defense Fund. The campaign is in urgent need of funds to pay for attorney fees and other legal costs related to defending the sacred site.
- Sign up to become a Friend of the West Berkeley Shellmound here.
Support Indian Canyon
Indian Canyon is the only land continuously held by the Ohlone people, as well as the only federally recognized “Indian Country” along coastal Northern California from Santa Barbara to Sonoma. Indian Canyon provides a place for Indigenous people needing land for ceremony.
- Learn more about Indian Canyon here.
- Make a donation to Indian Canyon here.
- Volunteer for Indian Canyon by filling out this form.
- Follow Indian Canyon on Facebook to stay in touch and view upcoming events.