The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The Filipino Student Association at City College organized a panel discussion on May 5 at the Student Health Center to commemorate this. City College is a community college serving a diverse student population, should be responsible for providing spaces like this and resources and support for students from all backgrounds. This includes mental health resources that are culturally sensitive and appropriate for the needs of Filipino/a/x and BIPOC students.
An unbroken chain connected the original occupiers to this year’s gathering, with Elijah Oakes, Richard Oakes’ grandson, tending the fire in the center of the circle. Desiree Harp sang “Water so deep, water so wide” as seagulls cried overhead, human and avian voices joined together. Round Valley Pomo dancers performed as well as drummers and other musicians, with breaks in between for speakers.
More than 150 years after the ancestral homeland of the Ohlone indigenous was brutally taken, the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone is working on the rematriation of their homeland to give back what was seized from the community.
Given the massive diversity in languages, family groups, customs, and cultures, the native people of the northern and central California coasts likely would not have seen themselves as belonging to any single common group prior to the arrival of the Spanish. To some degree, this persists today, with many local Indigenous people self-identifying primarily as members of one or more of approximately 58 distinct regional cultures that are grouped under the umbrella-term “Ohlone.”
Since mid-2015, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been leading the effort to stop the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline Project. Hundreds of indigenous tribes are currently fighting on the front lines of the bulldozers.