Save the West Berkeley Shellmound: Protect Ohlone Sacred Sites

March 13, 2017 |  By Molly Jane |  Categories: Action Alerts, Events & Updates, News

The West Berkeley Shellmound – known to be the oldest Ohlone village, ceremonial center, and cemetery in the San Francisco Bay Area – is under threat. Developers plan to build luxury condos and retail at this site, despite its designation as a City of Berkeley Landmark and listing in the California State Registry of Historic Places.

Most importantly, the West Berkeley Shellmound continues to be of utmost significance as a ceremonial center to the Ohlone people today. The West Berkeley Shellmound/Village site is the oldest inhabited site in the entire Bay Area.  This site once held at least one shellmound/funerary site of the Ohlone people. It is older than the pyramids in Egypt and many of the major cities in the world.

If developers have their way, a five-story building with shops, apartments, and an underground parking garage will be built on the site of a historic Indian village at 1900 Fourth Street, Berkeley, on what is currently Spenger’s parking lot. A coalition of Native organizations, individuals, and families, as well as groups and individuals involved in historic preservation, social justice, and cultural diversity have created an ad hoc committee to oppose this development. They aim to dedicate this unique site as a memorial to thousands of years of habitation by Native people in Berkeley and as a tribute to their survival today.

Please support TODAY, March 13, 2017, the final deadline for comments on the Environmental Impact Report. This is of urgent importance to the preservation of the West Berkeley Shellmound. Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/1328362423841558/ to download the generic comment letter that you can send to shallen@cityofberkeley.info or shallen@ci.berkeley.ca.us. You can also increase your impact by mailing a letter, postmarked by today, and/or donating to https://www.crowdrise.com/save-the-west-berkeley-shellmound.

 

Design Action Collective is honored to support the struggles of the original Ohlone peoples whose land we live on.

Photo by Joe M Lamb

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