When you think about it, really any park or open space area in California is a suitable place for a field trip devoted to California Indians. The First Nations people of our state carefully tended and cultivated every acre of land, making us wonder today how anyone could have falsely believed this was ‘wilderness.’
Finding parks, open spaces, and cultural facilities that offer educational programs on Ohlone or California Indians can be a real chore, however. You might want to ask your students why so few places accurately and enthusiastically portray this important part of our state’s heritage. (“De-culturization” or ethnic cleansing makes for an excellent classroom discussion and research topic.) Many major parks, museums, missions, and other educational facilities are not listed here– their indigenous educational programs are either non-existent or too paltry to bother with.
So we have gathered here the ones that are your best bet. The rainy months are a good time to plan for springtime trips, read stories to prepare students for field trips, and work on projects that will culminate in an outdoor experience. And remember too, fall and winter were busy times for California Indians outdoors, so take advantage of our mild winter weather to go outside!
Please send us an email at email@example.com if you know of other good programs for students and we will be glad to include them. It is our hope that the fine work that the following programs are doing will rub off on others, so that we can keep adding to this list in the coming years.
Here is an alphabetical list of places we have had good experience with in the past few years. You’ll want to visit their websites for specific information.
Botanical Gardens at UC Berkeley
California State Indian Museum
California Academy of Sciences (ongoing native education series)
Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford
Chitactac Park (nice setting with petroglyphs and displays)
Coyote Hills Park (excellent Ohlone programs)
Deer Hollow Farm
deSaisset Museum at SCU
Filoli Education Center (excellent school programs and native site)
Hearst Museum at UCB
Kule Loklo Park (nice setting with native structures and plants)
Lindsay Wildlife Museum
Marin Museum of the American Indian (ongoing exhibits and programs)
Mission San Francisco (ask where the Indians are buried)
Mission Santa Clara
Mountain Parks Foundation
Oakland Museum (excellent legacy of native exhibits and programs)
Sanchez Adobe in Pacifica
Santa Cruz City Museum
San Mateo County Historical Museum (new native exhibits)
Walker Creek Ranch