NISGUA’s Oakland office and staff are guests on Ohlone land in California. On September 20, we responded to call to stand with the local Ohlone community in saying no to a proposed parking lot on Mission Peak. NISGUA spoke out at the public hearing and filed a letter (below), urging the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) to choose protection of Ohlone burial and cultural sites over desecration, upholding the rights to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples. Sadly, the EBRPD Board unanimously voted against the Ohlone people and community opposition. NISGUA continues to stand with all those who defend land and life in the U.S. and globally.
September 19, 2016
East Bay Regional Parks District
Board of Directors:
Whitney Dotson, Dennis Waespi, Beverly Lane, Doug Siden, Ayn Wieskamp, Diane Burgess, Robert E Doyle, John Sutter
Dear Board of Directors:
On behalf of NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala), based in Oakland, CA and Guatemala City, Guatemala, I write you to express our organizational opposition to the proposed Mission Peak project on the grounds that “the project could have a potentially significant impact on Native American archaeological deposits and human remains”, as stated by the EBRPD Environmental Impact Report. The Ohlone people, whose cultural and burial sites are threatened, have voiced their opposition to this project.
NISGUA provides international human rights accompaniment to human rights defenders in Guatemala who are under threat for their work. We have witnessed the devastating affect of projects imposed on indigenous lands without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples impacted by those projects. We demand that indigenous Ohlone cultural sites be protected in all EBRPD projects and that first and foremost the voices of the Ohlone people are heard when considering projects that may impact Ohlone lands.
Thank you in advance for your protection of indigenous cultural and burial sites.
Bridget Brehen and David Imhoff