Sogorea Te, once a sacred gathering place for Ohlone tribal community, now lined on one side by condominiums
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA — Over 100 American Indians from throughout California, many from the San Francisco Bay Area and some from as far as Hawaii, assembled at Sogorea Te (now known as Glen Cove) on Saturday to commemorate and remember the 109-day spirit camp occupation. The original spirit camp occupation occurred four years ago this spring and was held to preserve and protect the land and its Ohlone ancestors. For some 3,500 years prior, the Ohlone had gathered at Sogorea Te for ceremonies several times each year.
Spirit Encampment – Four years ago
At Sogorea Te four years ago, attendees opposed the plans of the City of Vallejo and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District to construct a park with bathrooms where shellmounds – graveyards sacred to Ohlone tribal members and other American Indians – exist. A sacred fire was kept burning continuously during the original 109-day spirit encampment during which thousands of people came to express their support.
Norman “Wounded Knee” DeOcampo talks inside the circle on Saturday
The organizers eventually reached a compromise that brought an end to the spirit encampment and resulted in construction of just a park and parking lot. Despite this compromise, the participation of so many tribes and supporters four years ago has fostered a sense of community that still thrives today – as demonstrated on Saturday – and that will serve to protect the sacred.
“While I am proud of the warriors who joined us four years ago to show resistance, I know we did not get everything we wanted from the city and recreational officials,” commented Norman “Wounded Knee” DeOcampo, a representative of Sacred Sites Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT), to Native News Online. “I know our work will never be finished when it comes to protecting our tribal sacred sites, but we must keep fighting.”
Sogorea Te Spirit Encampment reunion held on Saturday, April 12