Protocols, Guidelines, and Invitations
The work of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is made possible by the strength, resilience, leadership, and labor of Indigenous women and culture keepers
We are also supported by many allies and accomplices of different backgrounds, engaging with the vision of Indigenous women led land return and rematriation. Collectively we are all still in a world founded on the theft of the lives and land of Indigenous people.
As a society we are really just beginning to learn how to navigate what it means to acknowledge the history of the land we are on, and build meaningful deep relationships. As we move towards transforming our relationships to the land we are on, here are some tips for how to engage with our work and more!
- Learn the history of the land you are on
- Learn about the relationship of your own family line to stolen land
- Find out about the issues impacting Indigenous communities today
Indigenous women led work to restore sacred relationships between Indigenous people and their ancestral land. Honoring our matrilineal societies and lineage’s ways of tending to the land, in opposition of patriarchal violence.
Rematriation weaves traditional and cultural knowledge back in harmony with the land. In Lisjan territory, we envision a Bay Area in which Chochenyo language and ceremony are an active, thriving part of the cultural landscape. Check out our Rematriation page for more info!
Be A Good Guest
It’s always respectful to ask first before taking action for or in place of Indigenous people. Please note that permission may not be granted or we may advise for reflection and research.
- How have you benefited from stolen land?
- What labor are you asking from Indigenous people?
- How will this be reciprocal? What do you bring?
- Are you prepared to do the work?
We appreciate opportunities to engage with different communities and share our work. At the same time, many of us experience constant requests for culturally extractive information. A lot of the work we do is related to healing and historic harm, presenting the history of colonization and genocide is not easy.
Pay real honorariums, especially if you are connected to corporations and institutions.
Give us a minute to respond. We are navigating many requests and engage specific processes for decision making.
Indigenous people are not a checkbox or cultural display. Don’t consume us. Engage with us.
To request a member of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust for an event, conference, or interview please use our Inquiry Form, 3-4 weeks in advance.
Sharing Our Work
Please share our work! Feel free to share our public social media posts, information about Shuumi Land Tax, and links to our website! Please feel free to share public information from our website for small class projects or similar unpaid educational projects. If you want to include our work in larger projects, places were presenters are being paid or in print, please reach out to our email!
Any kind of portrayal that includes any inspiration by Indigenous people, creates a representation. If your request includes the creation of a representation please consider:
- Who created or will create this representation? Why?
- What power dynamics does this representation draw from, interrupt or recreate?
Avoid appropriation. Avoid extraction. Avoid tokenism. Avoid exploitation.
If your representation includes a request from Indigenous people for information, time, energy, knowledge, and work, please see Consultations.
Images & Documentation
Ask before using images from our website or creating representations of our work beyond educational sharing. If you are engaged in a project hoping to use or create representations, please use our inquiry form and allow time for us to engage our decision making processes.
A consultation is a request for information, a discussion and/or feedback. This is an important and essential way to engage with Indigenous voices, perspectives and leadership. If your project includes or represents indigenous people, culture, land etc, ask for Indigenous guidance and participation in its creation.
A consultation could be an informational such guidance in development of land acknowledgements or requests for feedback on a project. Some consultations are cultural and are referred to the Confederated Villages of Lisjan Nation (Ohlone).
Please keep in mind there are many sensitive issues around access to Indigenous representations. Sometimes, even efforts that start with an idea of being respectful, inclusive or supportive can end up impacting Indigenous people in a way that is extractive and exploitive.
- What is your intention with this information or representation?
- Who will have access to the project, research, interview, etc?
- How can you make this a more transformative interaction?
Please spend time with our questions for reflection before reaching out for a consultation. To request a consultation please use our Inquiry Form.
Avoid contacting people through personal social media platforms, family or in person with requests. The fastest way to get a response is our request form. Refrain from using and participating in Indigenous medicines and ceremonies that are known closed practices or not from your own lineage. Treat us as you would any other expert in their field. Allow Indigenous people to speak on behalf of their own lived experience.
Hosting fundraising through your networks and communities is a great way to support our work. If you are going to host a fundraiser please make sure to send us an email first. Please use the following fundraising accountability practice: if you publicly post our name to collect money on our behalf, we request also publicly posting your donation receipts.
We appreciate fundraising support efforts and also encourage institutional allies to move beyond sales based percentage fundraisers, to give Institutional Shuumi Land Tax, to link their personal or business fundraisers directly to our website, to distribute our outreach materials, to redistribute.
There are many different practices and protocols around land acknowledgements. Historically, there are always Indigenous traditions around ways of acknowledging and entering other peoples ancestral territories.
Today, many organizations, institutions, cities and every type of entity of all different backgrounds are beginning to practice land acknowledgement as a way to recognize a small piece of this history and present day reality.
There are many resources around land acknowledgments created by Indigenous people. Sogorea Te’s “So You Want To Do A Land Acknowledgement” resource was created as a way to navigate our own land acknowledgement collaborations. This resource is available on our website!
Land Acknowledgements are not reparations. Go beyond acknowledgement.
Indigenous people are still here. Acknowledging the original people of every land you are on is important. Please do so in a respectful way. Just “acknowledging” occupation or presence on Indigenous lands with no other relationship or action, actually recreates extraction and erasure. We encourage our allies to engage more deeply. We also always encourage “Action Steps”, to take the acknowledgement into a relationship of reciprocity and go beyond performative or extractive practices.
Do Your Part! Take Action!
For those settling in the East Bay, pay your Shuumi Land Tax! For those outside of the East Bay and interested in supporting our work, contribute to the Rematriate the Land Fund! Do you have access to land, opportunities, equipment, skills, funds? See how you can use those resources to aid the efforts of Indigenous people! If you don’t have disproportionate resources, maybe you can share something else or maybe you know someone who does.
Thank you for engaging with us. We appreciate you. – Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.
This is a collectively created living document and may change as we develop our processes.
Download the full How to Come Correct file to share with your communities, colleagues, classes, and more!
Resource & Graphics Designed and Edited by Viola LeBeau
Photos by Ines Ixierda, Eliana Hernandez, and Niko Niumeitolu