Muwekma Ohlone SJSU Area Land Acknowledgement

Mwekma OhloneThe San José State University community recognizes that the present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, with an enrolled Bureau of Indian Affairs documented membership of over 550, is comprised of all of the known surviving American Indian lineages aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay region who trace their ancestry through the Missions Santa Clara, San José, and Dolores, during the advent of the Hispano-European empire into Alta California; and who are the successors and living members of the sovereign, historic, previously Federally Recognized Verona Band of Alameda County.

Furthermore, the San José State University community recognizes that the university is established within the Thámien Ohlone-speaking tribal ethnohistoric territory, which based upon the unratified federal treaties of 1851-1852, includes the unceded ancestral lands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the enrolled Muwekma lineages are descended from direct ancestors from the Thámien Ohlone tribal territory whose ancestors had affiliation with Mission Santa Clara.

The San José State University community also recognizes the importance of this land to the indigenous Muwekma Ohlone people of this region, and consistent with our principles of community and diversity strives to be good stewards on behalf of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe whose land we occupy.

The portion of this video above (beginning at 6:25) provides important context for the Land Acknowledgement that was generously given to SJSU by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe for SJSU use.  Tribe Chairwoman Charlene Nijmeh gives a powerful detailed accounting of the specific steps and history of the disenfranchisement of the Muwekma Ohlone peoples, as well as the strength and presence of their community today. Tribe Vice Chairwoman Monica V. Arellano gives a detailed context to understand our presence on the ancestral lands of the Muwekma Ohlone, land on which our institution and the city of San Jose occupy.  Their leadership reminds us of how much further we have to go, and that this Land Acknowledgement is a very small step towards further action.

We are grateful for Charlene Nijme and Monica V. Arellano of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal Council for providing SJSU with a Land Acknowledgement and Greeting.

We encourage you to use the Land Acknowledgment in its entirety out of respect for the process and words given us by the Muwekma Ohlone.

Download a PDF version of this Land Acknowledgment

Link to shareable Google Slides document with this Land Acknowledgment specifically for SJSU events and meetings 

Download a PDF of the Muwekma Ohlone greeting to Learn More about the Tribe and its History

Pronounciation Guide for this Land Acknowledgment

What is a Land Acknowledgment?