Listed here are a variety of educational resources to help students and teachers who wish to focus on the First Nations cultures of the San Francisco Bay Area. Many lesson plans on the Education page may be augmented and made particular to the Bay Area using information from the following sites. If you have developed a lesson plan specific to the Bay Area, please share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An excellent essay by Heather Hemmingway that deals with environmental issues and stereotypes as well as Ohlone history. Suitable for older students, teachers, and overview.
Information for teachers planning field trips to Bay Area sites that have significant cultural content on the Ohlone Indians. If your local park is not listed, ask them to include Ohlone information!
The Ohlone and friends got together to build a tule canoe and launch it on Lake Merced in San Francisco in August of 2003. Check out the pictures of materials and the work involved.
‘Green eggs and ham’ becomes ‘Green acorns and salmon’ as the Mutsun Ohlone work hard to compile a treasure trove of Ohlone words. Read these articles and have your students work on their own stories in a First Nations language. Suitable for all age levels. http://www.mutsunlanguage.com/pages/944596/index.htm?gen_time=1031772126387
This is an excellent online information book for 3rd graders, by Springer Elementary in Mountain View.
This yearlong series hosted artist Yamane who different Ohlone basketry techniques.
Suitable for most age levels. A videotape might be available for in-class viewing.
The National Park Service and Chrissy Field Education Center in the Presidio have a wide variety of educational resources, including ideas for environmental lesson plans. Suitable for all levels. The focus is mostly on places not peoples, but the California Indian view is beginning to be heard.
Filoli offers a variety of hikes and programs for patrons who want to explore the natural areas of the park, which was the site of an important Ohlone village. Excellent docents and on-site demonstrations. Oh, and by the way the formal gardens are beautiful too!
This overview article links Ohlone cultural interests with a current land use issue. Suitable for older students as well as teachers wishing to arrange a field trip to the eastern shoreline of San Francisco. Also helps show how students can get involved in a community service project.
By Kellyx Nelson and Jack Laws
Chitactac Park is a truly remarkable site, for it has managed to survive all of the many land development pressures of the Bay Area. Kids of all ages love to view the rocks, the petroglyphs, the creek, the ancient oaks, and interpretive areas. Off Highway 101 in Santa Clara County.
Coyote Hills also managed to survive from ancient times into the present, and is a favorite of local Native Peoples. It has perhaps the most authentic wetlands (ie. tule reed) village ‘atmosphere’ of Bay Area parks, and one of the partially restored village sites is occasionally open to the public. This park also has a superb museum and good trails for hiking. Let’s hope that new wetlands restoration projects around the Bay Area use Coyote Hills Park as a model.
An excellent illustrated introduction to the Ohlone of the Bay Area, from thousands of years ago to the present. Suitable for younger as well as older students. Includes pictures and illustrations.
This comprehensive essay goes into detail about local Ohlone history in the Bay Area. Suitable for older students and teacher reference. By Rosemary Cambra, Monica Arellano, et.al.
A comprehensive essay that details the decades-long legal effort of the Muwekma Ohlone. Recognized in the early years, and ‘de-recognized’ by bureaucratic bungling, the local tribe has engaged in a patient and persistent battle that spans generations. Suitable for older students and teacher reference. More essays are available from this page.
This site has a number of interesting and useful links, both about the canyon land itself and general California Indian issues.
A good overview of the basic issues (who are they? where are they now? etc.) with photos and links to other resources.
A site that presents field notes by Curtis and tribal summaries, along with his famous images. California tribes are in Vols. 13, 14, and 15. Peruse the Image Index to 2,234 images. Suitable for all levels.
This collection of 4 photo essays offers a good start to picturing current American Indian issues: Traces of California Indians, Petroglyphs, Tribal Lands, and Environmental Problems. Suitable for all levels.
Students of the Woodland School prepared this site, with info on games, food, art, and shelters. Excellent children’s illustrations of Miwok Legends. Suitable for younger students.
A personal web page by a young Yurok; it contains interesting photos of houses, canoes, pottery, dancers, and Eric the Native American (South Park). Fun site for younger students.
This public art collection is in or near San Jose. There is also public art dedicated to Native Americans at Stanford University (totem poles and a marker), the Embarcadero in San Francisco (plaques), and various other sites suitable for field trips.
The BLM uses this site to show parents and teachers what children will learn when they come to the park, as well as park activities. Sanbourne is in Santa Clara County. Suitable for younger students.
Important info on California’s hidden history of genocide, a memorial to victims of the extermination campaign, and links to sites. Suitable for older students.
This UC Berkeley resource offers excellent bibliographic references for more extensive research. Suitable for college students and teachers.
An in-depth examination of the tribes of the far northern coast, this essay is suitable for older students.