Relationship with Local Muwekma Ohlone Tribe
The present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe is comprised of all of the known surviving American Indian lineages aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay region who trace their ancestry through the Missions San Jose, Santa Clara and San Francisco; and who were also members of the historic, Federally Recognized Verona Band of Alameda County.
The aboriginal homeland of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe includes the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, and portions of Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, most of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and San Joaquin. This large contiguous geographical area, which historically crosscuts several major linguistic and tribal boundaries, fell under the sphere of influence of the aforementioned three missions between 1776 and 1836.
The missionization policies deployed by the Catholic Church and militarily supported by the Hispanic Empire, brought many distantly related, and in some cases, already intermarried tribal groups together at the missions.
The Mission Peak ARO Team has corresponded with a group of native Ohlone cultural historians of the Muwekma Ohlone tribe about creating a land acknowledgment that we can use in our worship services and other events. They have agreed to create a land acknowledgement for us to use. They have sent us a greeting and a document with many details of their history. The greeting says:
“We Are Muwekma Ohlone, Welcome To Our Ancestral Homeland!
Welcome Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, the City of Fremont, and Surrounding Towns Located Within the Intermarried Alson/ Thámien Ohlone and Tuibun Chochenyo Ohlone Ancestral Muwekma Ohlone Territory
We are honored to share with you information about our 12,000-year history and heritage of our Tribe from within our ancestral homeland of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and welcome the members, clergy, and citizens of the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation and the City of Fremont, in developing a mutually beneficial partnerships with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area.”
They explain that they are in the process of getting Federally Acknowledged status for their tribe.
Here is how they explain some of the things they are doing to keep their culture alive:
- Since the 1960s our enrolled families have been involved in the protection of our ancestral Ohlone Indian Cemetery, as well as the hundreds of our ancestral heritage sites.
- Since the 1980s our tribal leadership and members have been involved in numerous environmental, educational, and cultural events at public and private schools, universities and colleges.
- Our Tribal language committee has been pursuing renaming our ancestral heritage sites and other places of importance to our Tribe such as Coyote Hills and at our ancestral mortuary sites in Sunol, and elsewhere.
- Our Tribe has been involved in various Earth Day Celebrations since the Mid-1980s, especially with the Environmental Science Department at San Jose State University. And Tribal members have participated in Coast and Creek clean-up events over many years. The tribal leadership and members are working with Native Plant Societies and Gardens throughout the Bay Area as part of our collective education and revitalization on native species of plants and their traditional uses.
- Our Tribal members have been involved in the 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Run since 1980 and has hosted and supported the Peace and Dignity Native American spirit runners from Alaska to Panama
- We have continuously co-sponsored since 2006 the American Indian Heritage Celebration with the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara County.
- The Tribe’s leadership have also revitalized our traditional dances and songs which were exported to neighboring Coast Miwok, plains Miwok and Maidu tribal groups during the 1870s and later years.
For more information on the Muwekma Ohlone, please see their website at: www.muwekma.org