The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s Fight to Save Ancestral Land in the South Bay

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Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, standing not too far from the sacred land of Juristac.  (Pendarvis Harshaw)

In Santa Clara County, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is fighting for one of their most sacred sites, known as Juristac. Beginning In the late 1700s, Spanish colonizers forcibly removed the tribe from Juristac, and currently, the land is owned by a private firm that has proposed a plan to develop a mine onsite. 

For the last 7 years, the tribal band, with support from many residents and local officials, has organized to block the project. They want the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to deny the mining permit from being approved. 

In this episode from Rightnowish’s “From the Soil” series, producer Marisol Medina-Cadena, speaks to Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. 

Episode transcript


This episode originally aired on Feb. 9