Native Community Rallies to Protect “Standing Rock of the Bay Area”

Native community members want to prevent further desecration of sacred site. Developers want to erect a five-story building on site.


Published September 9, 2017

BERKELEY– On Friday, California Indian Country leaders and their allies gathered at theWest Berkeley Shellmound and sacred Ohlone village site. Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk and Chochenyo Ohlone leader Corrina Gould conducted a press conference on a 2.2 acre parking lot that had been built over 5,700 year indigenous Ohlone Shellmound & a sacred village site.

Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk and Chochenyo Ohlone leader Corrina Gould

The message was quite clear at the press conference, to help the Ohlone Natives to protect the oldest indigenous settlement along the San Francisco Bay from development and create an open space park that honors the living Ohlone people, their culture, spirituality and a remarkable history of the 5700 year old Shellmound and sacred village site.

The developers plan to build a five story building on the West Berkeley Shellmound site on which the 2.2 acre parking has been built on top of. Ohlone leader Corrina Gould stated:

” This is the Standing Rock of the Bay Area.”

Chief Caleen Sisk noted: It is important to reconnect the spiritual foot print here by tearing up the parking lot concrete. Then this will become a sacred open space for the Spirit beings to be free again.”

It was noted by the speakers and organizers of the overwhelming support that the residents of Berkeley had given to the Ohlone sacred site, with over 1,800 people opposed to the commercial development there. Organizers say thete is a need to enforce the City of Berkeley, State of California, the United States and United Nations resolutions protecting the historic site. The West Berkeley Ohlone Shellmound is located at 1900-4th Street in Berkeley at Spenger’s Fish Grotto parking lot.

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