Back in July, I wrote a piece for News from Native California about the battle over development of the West Berkeley Shellmound. Although the developer’s application for a 260-unit complex was officially denied in September by the City of Berkeley, the site remains under threat of development.
Curious to know any happenings between September and now, I searched a few of my usual news outlets and came across a recent episode of KQED’s Bay Curious podcast, which answers listener questions about the San Francisco Bay Area. The relative inquiry reads:
“There Were Once More Than 425 Shellmounds in the Bay Area. Where Did They Go?”
While it surprises me that people who frequent the Emeryville shoreline area don’t know who the Ohlone people are or have never heard of shellmounds, I’m happy that some are curious enough to find out. That said, the episode is definitely worth a listen.
Below are several reviews I wrote for News from Native California last year, condensed for roundup purposes:
Through interviews and effective use of historical maps and artwork, the hour-long documentary demonstrates how obscure fifteenth century Vatican documents created a worldwide code of institutionalized domination that continues to haunt Indigenous people.
Both approachable and academic, Doctrine‘s main strength is in its encouragement of thought and questioning a system that serves certain types of people and condemns the rest.
Showcasing activism within the San Francisco Bay Area Native community, the documentary short Beyond Recognition does much in its twenty-five-minute runtime, managing to intertwine federal tribal recognition fallout and the colonization of Native California.
Winner of Best Short at the 2015 San Francisco Green Film Festival, Beyond Recognition has been shown at the American Indian Film Festival, Human Rights Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, and the Native Spirit Film festival in London, and has been broadcasted on several public television stations.
Almas Fronterizas brings a twenty-five minute style infusion of both the traditional and contemporary on its 2015 self-titled release.
In the same spirit as the band’s live performances, Almas Fronterizas advances themes of decolonization with a collection of vibrant, wistful rock and folk offerings.
While the trio hasn’t garnered much mainstream press coverage, Almas Fronterizas has maintained an underground presence online through YouTube and its Bandcamp site, as well as a word-of-mouth following through live stage and street performances throughout California and Mexico.