Oakland announces plan to return control of land to native tribe

The city of Oakland, Calif., announced a plan last week that would make it one of the first cities in the country to return land to Indigenous peoples.

City Council will hold hearings and decide whether to grant a easement on five acres of land in city-owned parkland to local Indigenous organizations: the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, the East Bay Ohlone Tribe and the Confederate Villages of the Lisjan Nation.

The easement would allow the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust to immediately use the land, known as Sequoia Point, for public education, natural resource restoration, cultural practices and other future uses, the town said. town.

“This agreement with the City of Oakland will restore our access to this important area, allowing a return of our sacred relationship to our ancestral lands in the hills of Oakland,” Corrina Gould, co-founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and Lisjan The Tribal Chairperson, said in a statement. “Servitude allows us to begin to heal the land and heal the scars created by colonization for the next seven generations.”

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The Ohlone people, who belong to the Confederate Villages of the Lisjan Nation, had inhabited Oakland and the East Bay area in northern California for thousands of years before being forcibly removed by European settlers and their descendants from the 18th century, the city said in its statement.

Discussions for land “rematriation,” as the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust calls it, began in 2018 between Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Gould.

“I hope the work we’re doing in Oakland with the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust can serve as a model for other cities working to return Indigenous lands to the Indigenous community we stole it from,” Schaaf said in a statement. City press release.

Schaaf also shared on Twitter that “Oakland, CA will return land to the native community we stole it from.”

USA Today

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