A message from General Manager Andrea Mackenzie:
On Thursday, October 28, the Open Space Authority Board of Directors passed a resolution recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month.
Native American Heritage Month, federally recognized and celebrated annually in November, is, according to the National Congress of American Indians, to recognize the significant contributions of the first Americans made to the United States, educate about the First Peoples of America, raise awareness about the past and continued challenges Indigenous Peoples experience, and the ways in which these challenges have been overcome.
The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is committed to acknowledging and better understanding the complex and violent history experienced by Indigenous Peoples in the region, the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and governing bodies within California, the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and lands managed by the Authority, the role Indigenous Peoples have played in land stewardship practices for millennia, and their centuries-long fight for equal opportunity and access to their sacred lands.
This recognition comes on the heels of the now federally recognized Indigenous People’s Day, celebrated annually on October 11th, and the Authority’s Board of Directors vote on October 18th to support federal recognition for the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area through the approval of a letter to the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Authority’s jurisdiction encompasses lands that are recognized as territories of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. Learn more here.
As our dedication to conserving the natural environment, supporting agriculture, and connecting people to nature continues, our commitment and actions to include the principles of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility into our work must evolve and move forward in step. While there is much more to be done, recognizing Native American Heritage Month highlights the Authority’s commitment to developing our Tribal partnerships and acknowledging our presence on sacred lands.