Ohlone Land

Berkeley sits in the territory of xučyun

Chochenyo Words

horše ṭuuxi
  - Good day

Ohlone (Oh-low-nee)

Muwekma (Muh-wek-ma)

Chochenyo (Cho-Chen-yo)

xučyun (Hooch-yoon)

Huichin (Hooch-yoon)

Painting of three Ohlone people crossing the waters in San Francisco Bay by Louis Choris.

Painting of three Ohlone people crossing the waters in San Francisco Bay by Louis Choris. (Google Images)

Know the Land

What is a Land Acknowledgment?

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. Hear what it means to members of the Native American and Indigenous Peoples Steering Group at Northwestern here

Why do we recognize the land?

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol. 

– Laurier Students' Public Interest Research Group, Know the Land, http://www.lspirg.org/knowtheland

Other Resources

Territory Acknowledgement
Native Land Digital

Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements

Chelsea Vowel

Are you planning to do a land acknowledgement?
Dr. Debbie Reese

horše ṭuuxi

Native American Student Development recognizes that UC Berkeley sits on the territory of xučyun (Huichin), the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people, the successors of the sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County. This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and other familial descendants of the Verona Band. 

We recognize that every member of the Berkeley community has benefitted, and continues to benefit, from the use and occupation of this land since the institution’s founding in 1868. Consistent with our values of community, inclusion and diversity, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and make visible the university’s relationship to Native peoples. As members of the Berkeley community, it is vitally important that we not only recognize the history of the land on which we stand, but also, we recognize that the Muwekma Ohlone people are alive and flourishing members of the Berkeley and broader Bay Area communities today.

This acknowledgement was co-created with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and Native American Student Development and is a living document.

The Ohlone Territories

What is xučyun (Huichin)?

xučyun (Huichin) is the home territory that Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people, it extends from what we know today as the Berkeley hills to the Bay Shore, from West Oakland to El Cerrito. The territory is composed of what we know today as five Bay Area cities -  all of Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, and most of Oakland.

Our campus extends to areas of xučyun that held a tuppentak (a traditional roundhouse), a place of celebration and ceremony, as well as a shellmound, traditional Ohlone burial sites. So as we view Berkeley as a special place, we were not the first to recognize, make our lives in, or celebrate the unique and exceptional place that we have the privilege to stand on.

Muwekma Today

Image Courtesy of Muwekma Tribe

Contemporary Ohlone Cuisine - sweet california buckwheat pancake

Image courtesy mak-'amham

Image Courtesy of Muwekma Tribe

Image Courtesy of Muwekma Tribe

Contemporary Ohlone cuisine - yerba buena roasted venison backstrap

Image courtesy mak-'amham

Image Courtesy of Muwekma Tribe

photo of a bowl filled with quail eggs

Contemporary Ohlone Cuisine - soft boiled quail eggs

Image courtesy mak-'amham

Who are the Ohlone?

Ohlone is a collective of around 50 separate tribes with related languages that were collectively placed under the umbrella term: Ohlone. The Ohlone are Native American people located in the Northern California Coast, tribes inhabited areas from the coast of San Francisco through Monterey Bay to lower Salinas Valley. The Ohlone family of tribes have been living in the Bay Area for 10,000 years.

Traditional Ohlone Basketry

Ohlone coiled baskets has lavish designs of intricate diamonds and zigzags formed by Olivella Shell disc beads. Many of their baskets consist of this design, however, with different patterns.

All baketry images are sourced from Muwekma.org

Muwekma Ohlone

The present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe is comprised of  surviving American Indian lineages aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay region who trace their ancestry through the Missions Dolores, Santa Clara, and San Jose; and who were also members of the historic Federally Recognized Verona Band of Alameda County. The homeland of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe includes the following counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, most of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, and portions of Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano, and San Joaquin.

The tribal governement represents more than five hundred members who are descendants of the Verona Band. The Verona Band of Mission Indians was never terminated by the US government, they were simply dropped from the rolls, and Muwekma is seeking to become a federally recognized tribe today.

Click here for the Muwekma website

The Muwekma Ohlone Flag. It is a man holding an object that is between a tribal pattern with his foot in a dancing position

Photo by Muwekma Tribe

What is Chochenyo?

Chochenyo is one of the Ohlone languages in the Utian family. It is the indigenous language to the inner East Bay. Today, the language continues to be spoken by Muwekma people. There is an active Chochenyo language learning group for the Muwekma tribe that works with UC Berkeley linguist Linne Mikkelson to ensure that it continues to thrive in future generations. 

Ohlone Villages
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