The following land acknowledgements are for Foothill College, located in Los Altos Hills, CA, within the Puichon Thámien Ancestral Muwekma Ohlone Territory. These have been approved by the local Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and coordinated by anthropology instructor and ethnic studies curriculum contributor Michael Wilcox, who is also the cultural resource officer and tribal historic preservation officer for the Muwekma.
These acknowledgements will be read before college governance meetings and public events on campus.
Horše túuxi! (Hor-sheh troo-hee). We would like to recognize that while we gather at Foothill College located in Los Altos Hills, CA, we are gathered within the ethno-historic tribal territory of the Puichon (pooee-chon) Thámien (thah-mee-in) Ohlone-speaking tribal groups who were intermarried with the direct ancestors of some of the lineages enrolled in the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, whom were missionized into Missions Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Jose.
The present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, with an enrolled Bureau of Indian Affairs documented membership of over 600 members, is comprised of all of the known surviving Indian lineages aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay region who trace their Tribe's ancestry through the Missions Santa Clara, San Jose, and San Francisco, during the advent of the Hispano-European empire into Alta California beginning in AD 1769. The Muwekma families are the successors and living members of the sovereign, historic, previously Federally Recognized Verona Band of Alameda County, now formally recognized as the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. Muwékma means La Gente – The People in their traditional Chochenyo-Ohlone language.
The lands on which Foothill College in the Town of Los Altos Hills is established, was and continues to be of great importance and significance for the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal People. The Foothills College Campus extends to surrounding areas that held several túupentaks (too-pen-tahks), traditional semi-subterranean spiritual roundhouses. Túupentaks were places of celebrations, healing, rituals, dances, intertribal feasts, and religious ceremonies which were once located on the following historic 19th century Clareño Indian Ranchos - José and Ramon Gorgonio's Land Grant – 'Rancho La Purísima Concepción' located in Los Altos Hills; Lopé Yñigo's Land Grant – 'Rancho Posolmi y Pozitas de las Animas (Little Wells of Souls)' located in Mountain View; and at Marcello, Pio and Cristobal's Land Grant – 'Rancho Ulistac' (oo-lees-tahk) located in Santa Clara. The Foothills College Campus also extends to nearby ancestral heritage "shellmound sites" which served as the Tribe's territorial monuments and traditional cemetery sites for high lineage families, craft specialists, and fallen warriors.
The region surrounding the Town of Los Altos Hills and Foothill College, is where many of the Tribe's ancestral heritage cemetery and village sites are located especially adjacent to Adobe Creek, Purisima Creek, Moody Creek, Robleda Creek, San Francisquito Creek, and other nearby freshwater drainages which were habitats for steelhead trout, and where many others have been destroyed through unbridled development. These localities are viewed as special and sacred places, and we respectfully acknowledge that they had been previously settled and controlled by ancestral Muwekma Tribal groups for many thousands of years. Today, the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal leadership and members work as stewards for many of their up-to,10,000-year-old ancestral heritage village and cemetery sites, such as CA-SCL-354 The Adobe Creek Site; and to the north along San Francisquito Creek, Hoontach Muwékma Ya Túnnešte Nómmo [Place Where the Ancient People are Buried Site (CA-SCL-623) [aka Hyatt Classic Residence]; Yuki Kutsuimi Šaatoš Inūxw [Sand Hill Road] Sites (CA-SCL-287/CA-SMA-263) located on the Stanford Golf Course; Horše 'Iššéete Ruwwatka [Place of the Good Health House Site] (CA-SCL-609) named for the Ronald McDonald House Project; as well as others.
As mentioned above, the Town of Los Altos Hills is established within the Muwekma ancestral Puichon Thámien Ohlone Tribal ethnohistoric territory, which based upon the 18 unratified federal treaties of 1851-1852, includes the unceded ancestral lands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the enrolled Muwekma lineages are descended from direct ancestors from the Thámien Ohlone tribal groups whose ancestors had affiliation with Mission Santa Clara and Mission Dolores, as well as from direct ancestors from neighboring Ohlone tribes.
It is important that we not only recognize the history of the land of the Puichon Thámien Ohlone on which we gather to participate, learn, and honor, but also recognize that the First People of this region – the Muwekma Ohlone People, are alive and thriving members of Los Altos Hills and broader Bay Area communities today.
Even though their Tribe was denied a land base due to the gross negligence of derelict BIA officials, after the Tribe was first federally recognized in 1906, it is because of the tenacity and strength of their ancestors and elders, that their People have been able to maintain their identity and traditions, and keep their culture and language alive. Furthermore, the Muwekma Ohlone families have never left their indigenous ancestral lands. Today they repair the sustained damages of over 251 years of colonization. They are focused on keeping their traditional culture strong, while they work for a bright and favorable future for their children, as they follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.
We respectfully request, that the good citizens of Foothills College, the Town of Los Altos Hills, and surrounding Cities strive to be faithful stewards on behalf of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe by maintaining the bay, freshwater ways, native plants, animal habitats, and the air we all breath. Furthermore, we request that Foothills College, the Town of Los Altos Hills, and surrounding Cities within Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties honor the military service of the Muwekma men and women who have honorably served overseas during World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and who are still serving in the United States Armed Forces today; and honor the tribal veterans and service members from California, North and South America who have served this country with dignity and honor.
In closing, it is of great importance to acknowledge the significance of this Holše Warep (hol-sheh wah-rehp) ~ Beautiful Land to the indigenous Muwekma Ohlone People of this region. We ask everyone who attends or visits Foothills College and Los Altos Hills, to be respectful of these aboriginal lands and natural habitats within their traditional homeland, and consistent with their principles of community and diversity, strive to be good stewards on behalf of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, on whose land you are guests.
Makiš horše mak-hinnan. 'Útasput makkam. Mak 'Iwe.
(Mahk-keesh hor-sheh mahk-hee-non. Oo-trahs-poot mahk-kahm. Mahk ee-weh.)
Thank you. And on behalf of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, we hope you celebrate, honor, and stand in solidarity with all Indigenous People with their struggles to reverse the adverse colonial legacies affecting all people of color in Los Altos Hills, the Bay Area, California, the United States, and the Americas, as we gather and reflect on the sacred lands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. Aho!
Horše túuxi! (Hor-sheh troo-hee)
Foothill College recognizes that it is located on the ethnohistoric territory of the ancestral and traditional land of the Puichon Thámien Ohlone-speaking People, and the successors of the historic sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County, presently identified as the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. 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 greater Foothill College/Los Altos Hills community has, and continues to benefit from, the use and occupation of this land, since the institution's founding in 1957. Consistent with our values of community, inclusion, and diversity, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and make known through various enterprises Foothill College's relationship to Native peoples. As members of the Foothill College/Los Altos Hills community, it is vitally important that we not only recognize the history of the land on which we live, work, and learn, but also, we recognize that the previously federally recognized Muwekma Ohlone Tribal People are alive and flourishing members of the Foothill College/Los Altos Hills and broader Bay Area communities today. Aho!
As a member of the Foothill College community with an office on campus, I acknowledge that I am a guest on the ancestral and traditional land of the First People of this region, the present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area (formerly Verona Band of Alameda County). I support the sovereignty of this Chochenyo-Thámien-Ramaytush-Awáswas Ohlone-speaking tribal group and other indigenous peoples.