The June 18, 2002 held at Building 34 at the Presidio of San Francisco linked to Doyle Drive and Indigenous People of San Francisco and the Presidio of San Francisco was a process that needs very careful attention. The decision to interview individuals and bring their views to the table in a combined report needs some fine-tuning. As was stated at the meeting - it would be proper to maintain the name of the author of any statement throughout the report - rather than using he or she and forcing the reader to guess or go back to some earlier statement for confirmation. Naming the authors highlights the genuine stakeholders.
I have stated to you and others present that the only indigenous tribe that has patrimonial affinity to the Presidio of San Francisco is the Muwekma Ohlone. The Muwekma is the only tribe that exercised their Right of First Refusal - when the Presidio of San Francisco was first slated for Base Closure 1988. No other tribe did that. Secondly the Muwekma were recognized as a tribe until 1927 and then illegally removed from the Federal Register. Right now the Muwekma Ohlone are on the verge of being put back on the Federal Register. This fight has not been an easy one and so in the context of the Doyle Drive Project - the Muwekma Ohlone and related archeological finds linked to their ancestors are pertinent. I feel that these elements should be mentioned and documented in your draft and final reports.
It is important to note that less than 3 per cent of the Presidio of San Francisco has been archeologically surveyed. While the National Park Service (NPS) is in the business of Preservation and Protection - it has not done its job. Much less the PresidioTrust which has no wide experience and has may two qualified people to attend to archeological matters.
There are many Shellmounds all over the Presidio of San Francisco and the neighboring areas. There are Shellmounds by the Cliff House and there are Shellmounds at Upper Fort Mason by building 102.
I am stating this fact because while we are focused on Doyle Drive - in the context of Shellmounds, which are Sacred Burial, grounds - we ought to look at the larger picture. The 40 or so clans that lived in and around the now called Presidio of San Francisco for thousands of years could have used any of the Shellmounds as ritual places. The Shellmounds infringed by the Doyle Drive Project included.
In order to get some sense we can go back a couple of hundred years and we will observe the marshlands, none of which exists today. The lagoon at Crissy field is a lagoon - not a marshland or wet land.
Much of where Doyle Drive is today on the Presidio of San Francisco was marshland. The site SFr-26 is very important. It was in the middle of marshland. While we focus on Doyle Drive we should not fail to focus on what was there before Doyle Drive and before the Army decided to fill in the land. There are photographs in the archives and even on the Internet that reveal the vast expense between the 100 series buildings on the Main Post and the Bay.
The Army has a lot of concrete information. Right now we have at Upper Fort Mason the Master Planner who worked for the Army - Mr. Lou Ferrari. I am positive that he has not been consulted. He was working for the Army when SFr-26 was found. You call it Sfr-26 but when I worked for the Army we called it SFr-25! I suppose anyone can rewrite history.
Mr. Ferrari now works for the NPS and way back in 1992 brought to the attention to the NPS in a letter dated November 10, 1992 which he has in his possession (because I have it too) stating what was found at the site now known as SFr-26. It is important that we interview Mr. Lou Ferrari and find out why the NPS did not bring this important fact to your attention. Also cooperate so that the authorities from the Doyle Drive Project get the best input. It is a shame that the Doyle Drive Project authorities time and again have to get concrete and pertinent information from outside sources for free.
" An archaeological site is on record at the District 04 Clearinghouse, the A.E. Treganza Museum of Anthropology, San Francisco State University. This site, SFR-25 involved a partial human skeleton and a large fragment of cut and polished bird radius (whistle fragment) found at a depth of approximately 250 centimeters below the modern surface in a pit being excavated for the construction of a new hoist in building 628 of the motor pool compound. If the radiocarbon dating to the year 740 A.D. is accurate, it would seem most likely that the skeleton had been buried in a grave pit which cut through the natural strata, (Heglar and Moratto, 1973)."
The San Francisco State has concrete information because the Army contacted them when the SFr-26 remains were found. This led to the remains being carbon dated to 1300 years and other precautions taken as per the Standard Operating Procedures of Sixth U.S. Army and Presidio of San Francisco. I was their last Congressional Liaison and I am privy to a lot of concrete information - not found in any books.
The area SFr-6 and SFr-26 has been given a set jurisdiction by the Doyle Drive authorities. I do not know what principle was followed. I know a little about Archeology and Anthropology. I lived in Nairobi, Kenya and in my youth followed and knew Richard and Mary Leaky. I often went on field trips and so understand the basics of how one finds artifacts and other significant materials - and how one arrives at the greater picture. This site initially was named SFr-25 and now it is called SFr-26!
In the Doyle Drive area - the NPS and the Trust has not stated the truth. The truth is that the area in question SFr-6 has been disturbed many times. And when the actual dig was done by the Doyle Drive authorities the investigation was conducted under very " hostile conditions" - heavy rain and so forth. I observed the investigation many times from a distance.
Much before the Doyle Drive authorities conducted the investigation - many times artifacts and remains were removed from SFr-6. The U.S. Park Police have some of the incident reports. In was not uncommon to see people remove archeological materials as there was NO full proof fenced area around the sensitive area.
I have stated before that the Shellmounds are Sacred Burial Grounds. When the Crissy Field Project was started NO consideration was given to the fact about the Shellmounds - Sacred Burial Grounds. I was the first to bring it to the attention of the NPS. When I brought it to the attention of the NPS - the NPS denied that there were any Shellmounds in the area of the construction. In the end and I was RIGHT. How ever Espanola Jackson and I had to go on camera and were featured on KRON-4 and other media channels stating the facts.
After this media exposure B.J. Griffin the then General Manager and now retired from the NPS stated that " if something of that nature was found the project would be stopped". She never mentioned Shellmounds - " something of that nature"!
Facing Crissy Field to right by the Marina Gate there is a Shellmound - unfortunately only part of it was saved and has been protected. It is important to note this.
When this Shellmound - Sacred Burial Site was found the configuration of the Crissy Field had to be changed - linked to the proposed estuary. The result was a smaller lagoon or pond. Today, this lagoon does not work and the man made lagoon erodes the beach. It is a joke when the NPS and others called the toxic lagoon - marshland and wetland. One has to see and know what a marshland or wetland looks like to call one.
I am making this point because the NPS is in the business of Preservation and Protection. Thousands of years ago the Sacred Burial Site was and is SACRED to the Muwekma. Today, only part of it has been saved. It is good that you be given a history. SFr-26 to you - SFr-25 to me is a very important Sacred and Historical site. I know this site better then most and I am proud to say so.
I find it difficult to understand how this Crissy Field site with archeological considerations is not taken into consideration. Also, remains found on the other side of Doyle Drive by building 106. Further, the area where Lucas Digital Center has been excavated was marshland once. One or two of the Doyle Drive proposals come close to this site - one very near.
I went to the proposed Digital Site many times and have photographs to back my statement. I found NO one monitoring the site. I know some statement was made by the Trust archeologist that she was there at all times and if she was not there her coworker was!. I hope we have logs to verify this statement.
It is a fact that the Muwekma have Patrimonial jurisdiction. That all the tribe members have a genealogical link to the ancestors that once lived near Mission Dolores and had a direct link to San Francisco and the Presidio of San Francisco. Others who call themselves Ohlone - can participate to better understand the history and unify the collaborative tribal links to the Presidio of San Francisco. How ever what is important is the genealogy.
I am not Muwekma. However, since my Army days I have kept documents and was instrumental early on to initiate and help create the Muwekma web site. My web site too http://www.ojo.com/francisco which is a forum for open dialog on most things linked to the Presidio of San Francisco and that includes the Muwekma.
With the Doyle Drive process you have allowed open discussion but on your terms. I feel the home of the Muwekma is the Presidio of San Francisco. We outsiders should NOT arrange the furniture in their home. The Muwekma were here for thousands of years. I understand the stated federal laws calling for RECOGNITION and being on the Federal Register. History will record that the Muwekma are a recognized tribe and have been for thousands of years. That is all that matters. When the strangers first came on the shores of the so-called Presidio of San Francisco the First People embraced them with open arms and gifts of food and water. It is a shame to see the hand that fed the strangers bites them - again and again. More with convoluted laws which cannot stand the test of time.
The Muwekma bear the responsibility to guard the interest of their ancestors and that includes the SACRED burial sites - the Shellmounds - the Sacred Burial Sites. I feel it is not proper for other natives without paying respect to the Muwekma to carry on monitoring on Sacred Sites on the Presidio of San Francisco - all because of monitory considerations. Some of them coming from hundreds of miles away to be monitors just so that they can make some little money.
The individual interviews conducted should incorporate interviews with those living individuals and some of them are not Native Americans - like Mr. Lou Ferrari. Others who you have decided according to you guide lines to avoid.
I have read the individual interviews and I think Chairwoman of the Muweka Ohlone Tribe will address my concerns at the next meeting. Also, Esponala Jackson who is the Muwekma Ohlone Liaison for the San Francisco area and the extended Bay Area.
As was stated let us all get all the information so that we can give the best feed back. Let the meetings be held at 10 a.m. so that we can address the agenda in its entirety to better serve the interests of the Doyle Drive Project but also to give due respect to the Archeological concerns we are dealing with.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.