Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 27, 2021

Ohlone Leader Corrina Gould Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Sacred Land News - October 2021

Lifetime Award to Corrina Gould

By Sacred Land Film Project
Censored News

Ohlone leader Corrina Gould will receive the Heyday Books Lifetime Achievement Award this evening.  Heyday asked us to produce a short film about Corrina's life—the Shellmound walks she led in the 1990s, the 109-day occupation of the Ohlone village and sacred site at Sogorea Te in 2011, and the ongoing struggle to protect the West Berkeley Shellmound.

The Sacred Land Film Project produced a 13-minute film about Corrina's life work, which will be the heart of tonight's celebration. You can catch it on Heyday's YouTube channel tonight, Thursday, October 28, at 6pm PT.

Congratulations, Corrina!

West Berkeley Shellmound Update


After winning the case to protect the shellmound from fast track permitting for affordable housing at the local level, the California Court of Appeals overturned the victory, and in July the California Supreme Court refused to take up the case. The City of Berkeley was therefore forced to issue a "use permit and structural alteration permit" to developers Ruegg and Ellsworth on October 8.
Watch short film.

Corrina Gould issued the following statement:

"It is a sad day when a permit is issued to allow construction that will desecrate the 5,000-year-old Ohlone village and burial site known as the West Berkeley Shellmound. We have been working to preserve this sacred site for years and we will continue to fight. This land connects us to our ancestors and the deepest roots of Ohlone culture. The owner of this property took advantage of SB-35 to get this sacred land entitled for development. The state legislature has since amended SB-35 so places like this with tribal cultural resources cannot be entitled through SB-35's expedited permit process. Going forward, this project would not be approved using SB-35. This law is the wrong tool for this location. Everything that got us here is broken. This sacred cultural site needs to be protected. We are not defeated. We have an obligation to our ancestors to continue fighting to protect this historic sacred place—and we will."
— Corrina Gould, Confederated Villages of Lisjan

This past April, Corrina took over Fourth Street and led a candlelight vigil at the West Berkeley Shellmound after the owners encircled the 2.2-acre site with barbed wire. Check out our short film "Free the West Berkeley Shellmound!"

For more information about the court case and the amicus briefs filed by Sacred Land Film Project and others, check out Project Director Toby McLeod's letter to the California Supreme Court.

Run4Salmon 2021

This year's Run4Salmon concluded in late July with a beautiful ceremony at Muir Beach. Winnemem Chief Caleen Sisk presided with the collaboration of Lisjan Ohlone leader Corrina Gould.

We filmed the ceremony as part of our ongoing documentation of this remarkable two-week prayer journey that seeks to bring back endangered Chinook salmon and protect Winnemem and Ohlone sacred sites.

Corrina Gould and Caleen Sisk

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