Oakland will be the first to allow an Indigenous group the exclusive right to use city land

By Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, September 7, 2022

“Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, an Indigenous and female-led nonprofit, announced [September 8] that the city will grant an easement for Sequoia Point to the land trust and the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, which is the East Bay Ohlone tribe. The Point sits above the Sequoia Bayview Trail, one of the most popular trails in Joaquin Miller Park.

“Oakland is creating a cultural easement at Sequoia Point, a legal arrangement that allows the city to transfer the right to use the land for cultural purposes, including ceremonial traditions, native habitat restoration and education activities. While the city retains the title to the property, the land trust has almost all of the rights of an owner, although the city can go on the property in case of an emergency.

“ ‘Oakland is the first city to give a tribe land back within city limits,’ [Corrina Gould, the tribal chairperson and co-founder of the land trust] said.

“Gould said the land trust plans to restore the area by replanting native plants and rehabilitating the habitat. The trust also hopes to open a cultural resource center in the next decade at the site.

“ ‘I believe that government must be honest when it has failed in its duty to protect people,’ Schaaf said. ‘And the genocide of our native peoples and the subsequent exclusionary laws that government has been responsible for is a wrong that must be corrected.’ ”

Read the full press release (~3 min.)

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