We often forget that the lives of most African Americans and that of the Native Americans are intertwined.
There are more African Americans living in the Bayview and the impact of their contribution throughout the history of San Francisco is well documented. Today most African Americans in the Bayview and Hunters Point are lethargy. This can be attributed to many factors one of them being that they do not fully understand the power they can exercise by voting the right people to do the right thing for the majority in their community.
Very soon District 10 will be called to elect a Supervisor. Let us all discern and vote someone who can do District 10 - justice.
At this time I think it would be proper for me to reveal to all those in District 10 about the Muwekma Ohlone. The Muwekma Ohlone are the First People of the Bay Area. The ancestors of the Muwekma Ohlone lived right here in our District. In our District there were many Shell Mounds. These Shell Mounds are Sacred Burial Grounds much respected by all Ohlones and women and men of good faith.
Ohlone means people from the West Coast. They have also been called Costanoans. Let us call them Ohlone and let us befriend them as they were the ones who lived where most of us make our abode today. They lived in the Bay Area for over 10,000 years. At the Presidio of San Francisco Ohlone remains were found and carbon dated to 1300 years!
District 10 is fortunate to have two Representatives of the Muwekma Tribe living among you and making a difference. Most of you know Espanola Jackson - all time political activist of the Bayview and Hunters Point. Many of you may not know me but I have been fighting for the Muwekma Ohlone and very proud that I live in District 10. I am also very proud to have been born in Nairobi, Kenya. Today I am a United States citizen having worked for the Department of Defense for many years.
The Muwkema Ohlone number over 500 living members. The Muwekma Ohlone were on the Federal Register until 1927. In 1927 a Bureau of Indian Affairs agent, L.A. Dorington illegally removed them from the Federal Register. Being on the Federal Register gives the Muwkema Ohlone many rights. Among them the right to exercise their jurisdiction over land and be a legal Tribe - recognized by the United States government. The right to avail of State and Federal benefits.
Today in California over 60 percent of the California Tribes are not recognized. Over 18 treaties signed by the United States and the California Tribes have NOT been ratified. We African Americans understand this very well. For too long we were treated as second class citizens. For decades we could not avail ourselves of many benefits given to other U.S. Citizens. For decades we could not vote and hold good jobs.
For over a decade now the Muwekma Ohlone at very great expense to the Tribe have been fighting their case before the U.S. Courts. They have been trying to pursuade the Department of Interior that they were once on the Federal Register, they were a recognized Tribe. The Muwekma Tribe has come a long way and if all goes well in April, 2002 - Judge Urbina will put them on the Federal Register.
I do not want to surprise you all. Hence by informing you now you all will be prepared. You all understand that the fight to be "free" is an on going one. The Bay Area once belonged to the Ohlone but it was taken away from them. They were after all the First People of the Bay Area and San Francisco. Come April 2002 the Muwekma Ohlone will exercise their "Right of First Refusal".
Please visit the Muwekma Ohlone web site: http://www.muwekma.org.
When the Department of Defense declared Base Closures in 1988 under prevailing law the First People can legally lay claim to excess land declared by the Base Closure Act. At this time the Muwekma Ohlone exercised their "Right of First Refusal" and laid claim to the Presidio of San Francisco, Hunters Point, Oakland Army Base - those excess land that come under the jurisdiction of the Muwekma Ohlone once put on the Federal Register.
Since we represent the Muwekma Ohlone and since the plight of most African Americans have been close to that of the First People - our struggle is common. Our struggle is NOT based on GREED but JUSTICE for all. We hope to be true and remember those who helped us in our common struggle.
There are many Sacred Sites all over District 10 and the Muwemka Ohlone recognize these sites as theirs. The land and Mother Earth should not be polluted and this has been done at Hunters Point. The only flowing Creek - Islais creek by 3rd Street and Marin should be free flowing and not polluted. But this is not so. The City and County of San Francisco keeps polluting Islais Creek and the adjoining Bay.
Redevelopers and the cronies who aid them favor greed and could care less about justice and fair play. MUNI light rail, Mission Bay Redevelopment, the proposed movable Bridge, the clandestine construction of the 3 large conduits to tap power from Hunters Point and take it all the way to Caesar Chavez under Islais Creek, the toxic hot spots at Hunters Point and other places - are an insult to the community residing in District 10.
The Muwekma Ohlone is cognizant of all the facts and will address each issue fully at the appointed time. For too long have innocent people in District 10 endured too much suffering.
We have informed you and trust that in doing so we have embraced our common journey to bring justice to District 10.
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