Oakland Will Be The First City in California to Give Land Back to Native Americans

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Corrina Gould, with the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone (San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images)

For thousands of years and  hundreds of generations, the Ohlone people have lived on the land that is now known as the East Bay. They were forcibly removed from their land with the arrival of Europeans beginning in the 18th Century. 

To begin to address the historic harms of the city’s founding, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and tribal Chairperson Corrina Gould started a conversation in 2018 that has grown into a partnership between the City of Oakland and the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. With final city council approval in November, the trust will be given the rights to a section of Joaquin Miller park known as Sequoia Point, and Oakland will become the first city in California to use municipal property as reparations for land stolen from Native American territories. On this Indigenous Peoples day, we’ll talk to Corrina Gould and Mayor Schaaf about what this means for the Native community in the Bay and how it can serve as precedent for other cities.


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Corrina Gould, Director, Sogorea Te’ Land Trust; spokeswoman and Tribal Chair of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone; Co-Founder and Lead Organizer, Indian People Organizing for Change.

Libby Schaaf, Mayor, Oakland