The Bay Area Thousand of Years Ago. Painting by Edward Goehring.


The Ohlone were here for thousands of years in the Bay Area.

They roamed freely and there was plenty of food. In the rivers and in the Bay they caught all the fish they wanted and more. On land there were all sorts of fruits. There were trees and lots of butterflies, birds, and so many insects. Brown bears and other deer roamed the hills and there were other animals too the foxes, the skunks, mountain lions - you get the picture.

I like the quail they are birds that mostly stick to the ground and make their homes in thick bushes. Many bushes grew berries that you could eat. All sorts of berries that kids and others love to eat. There were no bridges, no cars, no airplanes, no boats, no machines that make noise - it was all very peaceful.

There were tall trees and in these trees various hawks, ravens, eagles and other birds made their home. There were no eucalyptus trees those were brought by the White man. These trees grew rapidly and killed many native trees - native plants and trees were there for thousands of years --kind of-home trees, bushes, and plants on of a kind.

The White man brought cows and horses and these animals ate native grasses that the Natives Americans ate and used for various things. To make baskets and for medicine. The horses and cows pulled the native grasses from the roots and soon there was no grass and no native plants.

Did the White man know what is doing? Of course not? Does the White man know today what he is doing? Think about all the pollution from the cars? Think about the power plants? The factories and all the mercury, lead, pathogens spewed in the air? Do you think this is good for your body, your mind your soul?

Thousands of years ago there were no electricity but there were plenty of wood, grasses, and dried leaves to burn. Thousands of years ago there were no wells, taps, and bottled water. The springs were fresh and there was a lot of clean water.

Why do I like to go to the past? Well it is simple without a past you cannot have a future! Each one of us from time to time likes to think about our parents and grand parents. Most of the time if they were good to us and loved us - we grow up to be be good. If they did not love us and did not care for us - most of us had it bad and had to struggle. It is better to be loved and cared for.

The land on which the Native Americans and in this case the Ohlone lived is Mother Earth. We all love our mothers. The Ohlone love the Earth. The treated the earth with respect because they knew that the Earth gave them all they had and more. They were not greedy and did not pollute and destroy the clean water, the land and the air. Today all that we see polluted is the result of greed and neglect. Think about whom were the polluters. Why do you think they pollute who ever are the culprits?

I like the painting and the artist who put his soul and mind into painting it. He takes us to a time when most things were pristine. Young children learn to be truthful and please pay attention to the facts. Do not let anyone bluff you with lies. The Native Americans were good, the Ohlone were good. They had no reason to be bad to anyone. This land was theirs and they had everything. The strangers who came here had nothing and wanted their land - bad. They were greedy and treated the land with disrespect. They also disrespected the Ohlone who welcomed them to this land that was theirs for thousands of years.

It is not right to steal or rob. If you had a home, a car, anything - you would not like anyone to take it from you? Would you? You would not like anyone to disrespect you would you? None of you would stand still while some one disrespected your father or mother? Disrespected your friend? Well think what the strangers did to the Ohlone.

The Vikings visited them first, then the Russians, and then the Mexicans, the English and then the Americans took their land from them. Many American killed the Ohlone and the other tribes like the Pomo, the Miwok, and for $5 you could get a reward if you killed a Native American.

Young Ohlone, Miwoks, Pomos were taken from their parents and sold as slaves. Mean things were done to the Native Americans and the Ohlone of the Bay Area - for no reason except to rob them of their land and their dignity.

The Catholic Church was mean to the Ohlone. The missionaries should be ashamed of themselves. Even as today we read in the newspapers how some priest disrespect women and children - in the early days the missionaries disrespected the Ohlone and other tribes. Sooner or later they will have to repent and pay a price.

Young people should do right and this is not easy. Each of us has a conscience and this has been planted in us by the Great Spirit, God, the Force, Allah, Buddha, Yahweh - the God that each of you worship. Young people are the ones who will bring change in this world and right the wrong.

All of the land that is the Bay Area was stolen from the First People, the Native American and the various tribes the Pomos, the Miwoks, the Ohlone - others. It is not right that one steals and acts as if everything is right. It is wrong to disrespect anyone - your mother, your father, your girl friend or boy friend - even the animals and other creatures who do not harm human beings.

Look at the painting and see all the good that was once upon a time.

Sunset by Edward Goehring.

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