Ten thousand years ago what is now called the Presidio of San Francisco and the whole of the Bay Area was rich with fish, elk, bear, deer, birds, berries, clean air, the fog, clean springs, you get the picture. The land was rich in fruit, greens and meat and it was very habitable. The first people who lived on the land were happy and all was more than good!
Various Native American clans made their home at the Presidio of San Francisco, by Sutro Park, Fort Mason, in fact where ever one can see some high ground. From this vantage point they could see far and wide and observe as they pleased. They were very good hunters and maintained good physique. We have drawing of the early First People by Russian and Spanish artists. We also have documentation from the early pioneers who feared the well armed clans who inhabited the Presidio of San Francisco and sites all along the coast of California. These first strangers were at first treated with great hospitality by the First People. How ever as we have seen again and again those that were fed, bit the hand the fed them. To this day history has NOT been kind to the First People in the United States and much more here in California.
When any member on the clan passed away there would be mourning at certain sacred sites. As every one gathered here and spent weeks paying their respects and feasting, large amount of shells are found near the Sacred Shell Mounds. Shell fish being the primary and stable diet of the clans who inhabited the sites all over the Bay Area. As one has great respect for a mosque or church so did the First People for the Shell mounds.
Some stupid and uneducated archeologists began to call these Shell Mounds middens. In other words a "dump site" full of garbage. We know it would not be cool to call the graves wherein many Whites are buried as dump sites! Graves have always been respected especially by those who follow ancient traditions, as did the Ohlones.
Today, the largest Shell Mound in the country can be found a few miles away from the Presidio of San Francisco by the San Bruno Mountain near Burlingame. Other shell mounds known as Sacred Burial Sites can be found near Sutro Park, Fort Mason, Crissy Field, all over the City and County of San Francisco, the East Bay has several and beyond, on every site the Ohlones settled, bred, and followed their sacred traditions.
Who were the Ohlones? They were the first people of the Bay Area. Much before the Spanish and the Yankees came in contact with them, they were visited by the neighboring Miwoks, Pomos, and other native tribes. The Vikings, the Russians, the English, the Spanish, the Mexicans, and lastly the Yankees, all called on them and accepted their hospitality. The Ohlones were well settled and the strangers who came to their land at first held them with great respect and fear. The early chronicles written by the Russians and the Spanish explain in great detail the organizational structure of the first people. Russian explorers carried with them drawings and paintings of the Ohlone and other Bay Area tribes, now exhibited in museums all over the Russia.
In 1972 at the rear of the present Presidio Commissary were found the remains of an Ohlone maiden. Her remains were carbon dated to 1300 years much before any Yankee set his foot on Ohlone land. A documented fact that most in authority do not want to hear at the Presidio of San Francisco. This includes the Trust and the NPS.
The Presidio of San Francisco and the extended Bay Area is and was Ohlone land. This land was stolen from the Native Americans and some restitution is called for. 18 treaties signed between California tribes and the U.S. government were never ratified. Many of us so called educated and informed citizens do not know our Native American history. Much more the atrocities committed that none of us have the balls nor the gall to admit in public.
It is a shame that history has not been kind to the Native American in the Bay Area. One has just to read the recent episode linked to the brains and remains of the "Ishi" one of the last Native Americans who had to deal with so called civilization in California.
Up to 1924 it was legal to turn in an Indian scalp and get a reward. One could kill an Indian and no harm would come to you if you were White. History, written by the White man is full of lies and the real true history can be told by only those who lived through the times. Fortunately, we have some Native Americans in their 80's and 90's who lived through this history. Prior to that they could vouch for what was told them by their elders and teachers. I have gone out of my way to meet these elders and listen to them for hours. They speak the truth and it is just a matter of time before truth prevails!
We also have some Whites who now feel like telling the truth since they cannot run away from deception for ever. In no other country in the world, has no much injustice been done to the Native people, as have we in the United States. Imagine, thousands of Native Americans in just California robbed of their land, their homes, and treated as second class citizens. Even today many of them are home less and have been robbed of their self worth.
Added to this injustice, in the 1950's thousands of Native Americans from the East Coast, Middle America, were given a one way ticket to California. These poor souls landed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and so on and had no one to go to, no one to live with. These Native Americans were robbed of their land, their tradition, their spirituality, their families, and sent to some land that they had no one to go to! This history has not been told as it ought to be told.
Many of these Native Americans, tribes from other States, fell prey to alcohol, and other vices and diseases. Those that survived were again strangers in their own land. Unlike the Whites the Native American believes in Patrimonial Jurisdiction. One just cannot go to another tribes jurisdiction and live a normal life. The Native American has ties to the land of his or her birth, tradition, Mother Earth, spirituality, rituals, the Spirits, so many important elements that Whites cannot fathom, because most Whites are spiritually dead! These may sound like harsh words but I myself have seen it with my eyes. Most Whites center their lives around greed and money! While money buys you some needs it cannot make you happy - spiritually! We have so many Living Dead.
Even Ishi, the last so called Native American to be found in his natural habitat , called by the Whites the wild, was not given a decent burial. His brain was removed without permission and on the sly sent to the Smithsonian only to be returned just a few weeks ago for burial after all these years. Even in death the Native American have to deal with devious actions. Death to the Native American is a sacred passage and linked to Mother Earth.
Unlike the Christian concept, tradition passed from generation to generation plays an important role when any Native American passes away. Death is just a transition and one's sojourn on this earth requires that the spirits be respected. Native American human remains are sacred a concept that Whites find real difficult to comprehend!
Actions smacking of injustice, devious in nature seem to be the norm when important issues are transacted with the Native Americans and those in authority. The U.S. government, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Department of Interior (DOI), Department of Justice (DOJ), the bureaucrats in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and in all the leading cities seem to be nonchalant when it comes to taking the Native Americans seriously. After all this is their land and those who destroyed their land and traditions should be held accountable!
Much before the Whites came to the shores of the First People, the First People did not fall prey to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), to smallpox, measles, and a host of other diseases associated with the strangers. Thousands of Native Americans were wiped out by diseases mostly due to their contact with the White missionaries and mercenaries. Rich Native American languages are no more, traditions developed over thousands of years totally destroyed, people forced to inter marry to survive, many forced to commit suicide rather than suffer at the hands of the Whites. So many atrocities committed that it makes one's stomach churn and that too by the authorities who thought they were right!
At Mission Dolores hundreds of Native Americans were buried in a non-traditional way. Hundreds more in all the missions that were found all along the coast of California. Missionaries played havoc with the Native Americans and have blood on their hands.
The Catholic Church has been too slow to admit that much wrong was done to the Native Americans by the early missionaries. The missionaries destroyed many a noble Native American tradition in the name of King and Church!
In recent years, The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and a host of other Federal laws and regulations have been in place. These laws and regulations were created by some fair minded persons to bring some justice and adjudication to the Native Americans. For too many years and for too long a period the Native Americans have suffered for no reason in their own land. After all they were here before anyone, and owned all that anyone has today in land and property.
The United States government has in its very short history been very unfair to the Native Americans. The U.S. government has lied and even today the Department of Interior (DOI) has blood on its hands. Millions of dollars of Indian Trust money was misused by the DOI. A Federal judge had to reprimand the agency and the agency apologized for its misdeeds, just a few months ago.
In the mean time millions of dollars that could help Native Americans have been spent on projects and swindled by those who have never had the decency to be accountable to anyone. The Presidio of San Francisco is one such place where the entities concerned are using every unfair tactic to admit to the world that the Presidio of San Francisco belongs to the Native Americans. That any history linked to the Presidio of San Francisco was created because the land that is the Presidio was stolen from the Native Americans, in this case the Muwekma Ohlone.
As soon as the Presidio of San Francisco was put on the Base Closure List, the Muwekma Ohlone exercised their right of first refusal. In other words they claimed their rights to the Presidio by law. If the Muwekma Ohlone were federally recognized today the Presidio of San Francisco would be their theirs. So would so many DOD bases all over the Bay Area. The Muwekma Ohlone were federally recognized until 1927 only to be unrecognized by one corrupt BIA agent L.A. Dorington!
The National Park Service (NPS) is the premiere federal agency that is tasked by Congress and the tax payer to preserve and protect archeological and historical elements. At the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is a far cry from the mission objective laid by the NPS. The NPS has done everything possible to deny rights to the Native Americans, in this case the Muwekma Ohlone who have patrimonial rights to the Presidio of San Francisco.
It is a shame that only five per cent or less of the Presidio of San Francisco has been archeologically surveyed. That the NPS has been stupid enough to deny, time and time again, that Shellmounds are Sacred Burial Sites and should be preserved. In fact none of the Sacred Shellmounds at Fort Mason, Crissy Field, Sutro Park, have been protected and preserved. This is a shame.
On the contrary over a year ago artifacts and human remains linked to the Ohlones were stored in a garage, very near the Tides Foundation buildings. Four garages caught on fire and the artifacts and inventory all got burned. The NPS at first denied this fact but could not deny the actual and factual incident report by the Fire Department and facts revealed on this web site.
Much hype has been given to the Digital Age. Some of us are calling ourselves the "D" generation. D could stand for digital but it could easily stand for Destruction.
On the site where the Letterman Hospital stands today against the thinking of entities that know better, permission has been granted to the Lucas Company to build the Letterman Digital Company. The General Management Plan (GMP) does not call for such a vast complex and it out of character when placed in a National Park. How ever the plan to build this monstrosity goes on as planned.
The Digital age could easily come to haunt today's civilization. While most think that the digital age can bring a lot of change and bring a lot of progress. Quiet the opposite is possible.
Some leading philosophers, physicists, computer scientists, and learned persons seriously believe that the quantum leap made by computers could destroy our civilization. Again and again we have had renegades use the Internet to destroy and down load programs and viruses that have played havoc. It is just a matter of time before whole cities will be brought to a halt.
Digital science gives anyone who is clever enough to manipulate programs and viruses that can cause tremendous damage, destroy progress, and bring nations to a halt. This is done by corrupting operational systems that are linked to computers. These computers have software that are fully prone to computer viruses without warning. In seconds what is fully operational can come to a grinding halt. Huge power systems, systems that control communications, hospitals, you name it.
Digital science is still probing ways to control certain progress by developing checks and balances. The problem is no one entity can be at the helm of affairs. Some one from a third world country can totally destroy thousands of man hours of work and bring computers and any industry to a halt on any given day at any given time. Some one can do it right here in the United States!
No one has thought about the amount of electricity that is required to make the Letterman Digital Center operational. Again and again recently in the Bay Area our electrical power has been at a premium. Where will the power be got from and who will pay for it and at what price?
No one has fully addressed the amount of sewage that will be generated. There is vain talk that sewage generated at the Presidio of San Francisco in the near future will be piped to Bay View Hunter's Point.
No one has fully addressed the elements that will arise from toxicity. Computer generated operations and toxicity go hand in hand.
No one has fully addressed the transportation system. As it stands today Public Transportation at the Presidio of San Francisco - sucks. If every one will commute by car, imagine the traffic congestion, the pollution, the parking problems and so on.
No one has fully addressed the policing and security of the Presidio of San Francisco. While at the Sky Walker Ranch private armed guards can be hired. No one can carry a gun at the Presidio and perform security duties unless they belong to the U.S. Park Police. This is the law nor even the San Francisco Police Department.
No one has addressed the Housing Problem. High rents have forced tenants to sublease their house to others. This has brought more traffic, more incidents of violence, noise, and created unhealthy living conditions.
No one has cared to implement strict archeological standards! How can any one? Less than five per cent of the Presidio of San Francisco has been archeologically surveyed!
The Presidio of San Francisco once inhabited by the Native Americans, stolen and exploited by the past and present authorities, will never be the same. How ever we can prevent it from going down the drain. Today, no one really full cares about the future. What most in authority really care is greed and money!
The Presidio of San Francisco beckons us to come to its aid!