From the Directors: How Can We Be Better Allies?

July 2019

Dear Friends,

One critical focus of Black Mountain Circle’s evolving mission—as strong allies and protectors of nature—is to develop relationships with Native California Tribes. This begins by acknowledging that our events and office in Point Reyes Station are on the lands of the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, and by engaging with Native-led organizations.

Black Mountain Circle is building and strengthening alliances with First Nations people, and we hope you’ll join us in examining how we can best support Native-led projects, organizations, and activism. Here are a few ways we are working to ally with local indigenous groups and ways you can get involved:

  • We recently met with the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria Tribal Council, offering support in transforming the collapsed Kule Loklo roundhouse in Point Reyes National Seashore into an “education and healing center” that would strengthen the park’s interpretative programs and tell a more current history of the Coast Miwok. The 39th annual Big Time Festival is today at Kule Loklo.

  • Corinna Gould, spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, is coming to Point Reyes Station on September 8th, in conversation with filmmaker Toby McLeod, following the screening of Standing on Sacred Ground: Fire & Ice. Corrina is co-founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and a leader in protecting the West Berkeley Shellmound.

  • The fourth and final Run4Salmon, organized by the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, begins on September 14th in Vallejo. This two-week journey raises awareness for the restoration of the salmon runs and protection of the waters and indigenous lifeways. Join us for the opening ceremony and walk.

  • Listen to Anishinaabe ecologist Melissa Nelson’s KWMR interview on her new book, Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability. We are planning a daylong gathering with Melissa and other contributors in 2020.

The links below highlight the voices and wisdom of Greg Sarris, Corrina Gould, Caleen Sisk, Michael Preston, Desirae Harp, and Melissa Nelson—sharing their knowledge of place and nature, truth-telling about colonization and California history, and land reclamation and healing.

Steve and Kamala