November is Native American Heritage Month and an opportunity for us to celebrate Native American history and culture as well as reckon with the legacy of subjugation and genocide. You can learn more about the ongoing work of The San Mateo Office of Education and a great collection of online resources they put together on the Indigenous Peoples of San Mateo County, opens a new window. Another way to participate in Native American Heritage Month is through San Mateo County Reads, opens a new window and their amazing fall series: Native Authors - Native Lives. San Mateo County Reads allows us to come together and have meaningful discussions about Native stories.
The Ohlone speaking peoples were thriving inhabitants of an area stretching from the San Francisco Peninsula down to Big Sur for thousands of years before Spanish colonizers arrived in California. The Ramaytush Ohlone, opens a new window, one of eight socio-linguistic groups made up of about 10 smaller communities called triblets lived in the San Francisco Peninsula. The library has many books on the Ohlone and California Native Americans. The Ohlone: Past and Present edited by Lowell John Bean is a fascinating collection of scholarly papers on Ohlone culture and history. California Indian Languages by Victor Golla explores the rich linguistic history throughout the state. An American Genocide by Benjamin Madley provides a detailed account of how California Native American communities were all but wiped out by colonists. You can check out these books along with many others at your local library.
San Mateo County Libraries Land Acknowledgement
Our libraries across San Mateo County are located on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples, the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula. We respectfully acknowledge that we benefit from living and working on their traditional homeland and affirm their sovereign rights as first peoples and recognize their ongoing work as the Indigenous protectors and stewards of this land. At San Mateo County Libraries, our mission is to strengthen our communities by creating an inclusive sense of place and an environment of learning. One way we can seek to meet that mission is by encouraging others to learn about and honor the Ramaytush Ohlone people, their ancestors, elders and communities.