Protocols, guidelines and invitations for how to engage our work with respect
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 all different backgrounds engaging with the vision of Indigenous women led land return and rematriation.
Collectively we are 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, to build meaningful deep relationships and collaborations that honor the past and to engage with the knowledge, time, energy and resources of Indigenous people in respectful and reciprocal ways.
As we move towards transforming our relationships to our history and the land we are on, here are some tips for how to engage with our work, request a speaker, cultural consultation, land acknowledgement, offer an opportunity, or contact us.
Check out our website. We have information about the land we are on, resources, how the Shuumi Land Tax Works, how to donate, forms to request a speaker, frequently asked questions and much more. We have also heard the Internet offers amazing resources for anyone to do their own research about virtually anything.
Check out our Recommended Reading
- Learn the history of the land you are on
- Read Indigenous authors, scholars, journalists, listen to Indigenous voices
- Learn about the relationship of your own family line to stolen land
- Find out about the issues impacting Indigneous communities today
- Start a study group or penpal with your friends or family about whose land you are on, settler colonialism, dismantling white supremacy, unsettling, land return and rematriation
- Learn about your local sacred sites, take an action to protect them
- Learn about the pressing environmental issues where you are, take an action
- Do your part to shift and redistribute resources to communities who have been historically extracted from
- It’s always respectful to ask first
- Ask before using our photos or images
- Ask before using Indigenous language or representations that are not your own
Before you ask us, ask yourself
- How have you benefited from stolen land?
- What structural advantages have you had?
- What is your relationship to our work?
- What is the intention of your request?
- What labor are you asking from Indigenous people?
- Who will benefit from what you want to do? How?
- How will this be reciprocal? What do you bring?
- How are you centering Indigenous leadership?
- How can you leverage your position to shift inequality?
- How can this be transformative?
- Are you prepared to do the work?
All requests are requests for Indigenous labor.
(and so are many offers and opportunities too)
We appreciate opportunities to engage with different communities and share our work. At the same time, many of us experience constant requests for our time, our energy, for culturally extractive information, and unreciprocated labor. Be Respectful. We are not a clearinghouse of free 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. We are not a checkbox or a cultural display. Don’t consume us. Engage with us.
Pay real honorariums, especially if you are connected to corporations and institutions. And then get those corporations to pay Shuumi Land Tax. If you dont have any funding, consider organizing a fundraising effort and coming back with your request in a couple months.
Give us a minute to respond. We are navigating many requests and engage specific processes for decision making. Please refrain from contacting us through Sogorea Te’ members personal social media or via their family and friends for organizational requests.
To request a member of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust for an event, conference, or interview please use our Inquiry Form, including as much information as possible, including who what where why, dates/times/etc, 2-4 weeks in advance.
We navigate a large number of requests and aren’t able to accommodate everyone. Don’t call us we’ll call you 😉
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 with credit to the artists and Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. We appreciate tags, please tag us. 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 inquire at email@example.com
Any kind of writing, art, research, project, or portrayal that includes an image of, reference to or are inspired by Indigenous people, Indigenous history, Indigenous issues, or Indigenous culture, creates a representation.
Representations can recreate or interrupt assumptions, stereotypes, inequality, and / or power relationships.
Always allow Indigenous people to represent themselves and their own experiences.
- Cite Indigenous authors and scholars
- Quote Indigenous activists and organizers
- Follow Indigenous artists and writers
- Read Indigenous news and media
- Pay Indigenous people to make their own representations
- Avoid appropriation
- Avoid extraction
- Avoid tokenism
- Avoid exploitation
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? Consider all the possible politics of representation in your work and efforts. If your representation includes a request from Indigenous people for information, time, energy, knowledge, and work, please see Consultations.
Images and documentation
Please ask before taking photographs of us on our land, at our sites, or offices.
Please 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.
Please note: We do not collectively or individually sign release forms that seek to own or privatize images or intellectual property related to our work. We never consent for outside use of our images, land or work in terms of perpetuity, without our final oversight or for non-Indigenous profit making.
“I would love to pick your brain….”
A consultation is a request for information, advice, 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 institutional land acknowledgements or requests for feedback on a public projects that have representations of Indigenous people. Some consultations are cultural and are referred to the Confederate Villages of Lisjan (Ohlone). Please keep in mind there are many sensitive issues around access to Indigenous knowledge, representations, and cultural practices. 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.
Consider, what is your intention with this information or representation? What will it be contributing to creating? Who will be credited? Who is getting paid? Who will have access to the project, research, interview, etc? How can you make this a more transformative interaction? Can you leverage your position. Please spend time with our questions for reflection before reaching out for a consultation.
To request a tribal, cultural, art, or other type of consultation please use our Inquiry Form.
Fundraisers: Let us know first!
Hosting fundraising through your networks and communities is a great way to support our work, Many of our projects are funded through small individual contributions, grassroots fundraisers. If you are going to host a fundraiser please make sure to send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know first.
Please use the fundraising accountability practices: If you publicly post our name to collect money on our behalf, we request also publicly post your donation receipts.
Dont just use our name to generate social media content promote your 10% off sale. Engage with our work.
We appreciate fundraising support efforts and also encourage institutional allies, businesses and organizations 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 re
Do your part!
- For those settling in the East Bay, pay your Shuumi land tax!
- 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 dont have disproportionate resources, maybe you can share something else or maybe you know someone who does. Talk to them!
- Support Indigenous businesses and artists
- Learn about and protect the sacred sites of the land you are on
- Organize to take down monuments to racists and colonists
- Organize to change racists or colonial names of local school, parks, etc
- Plant native plants in your neighborhood and communities
- Protect your local creeks and watersheds
- Be a good guest!
- Practice Respect. Cultural knowledge is sacred. Refrain from asking Indigenous people questions about closed practices, ceremonies, and traditions.
- Avoid contacting people through personal social media platforms, family or in person with Sogorea Te’ requests. The fastest way to get a response is our request form or email: email@example.com
- Refrain from using/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.
Land acknowledgement is a way to recognize the original and ancestral people of the land you are on.
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.
Indigenous people are still here. Acknowledging the original people of every land you are on is important. Please do so in a respectful way. But 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.
There are many resources around land acknowledgment created by Indigneous people. You can find some of them here. Read them:
Territory Acknowledgement from Native Land
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement from Native Governance Center
Land Acknowledgement Explained From Teen Vogue
Honor Native Land by he U.S. Department of Arts and Culture
Land Acknowledgements are not reparations. Go beyond acknowledgement.
We work with local tribe, cities, Institutions, organizations, and collaborators to develop and offer land acknowledgements. We are working on our public protocols and will be updating this section soon.
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.