In a 8-minute clip, outdoor apparel brand Patagonia feature Sogorea Te' Land Trust, a food and sustainability group based in Oakland, California. The clip captures the perspective of Land Steward of Village of Huchiun, William Smith, and Nazschonnii Brown-Almaweri, land team member of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust who speaks from Lisjan / East Oakland.
The two explain how the modern picture of the Bay Area doesn’t account for millennia of sustainable land management. Their aim is to return land to Indigenous and Black farmers under the mantra Rematriation Redistribution Reciprocity. Three projects are underway - Rammay and Gill Tract in partnership with UC Berkeley and Lisjan.
Sogorea Te' Land Trust partner with two dozen partners organizations to deliver programming to address the trauma or land removal and deterioration. Among them is Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley, run by students to facilitate multicultural-related education, collaborations and cross/inter-cultural community building. Black Earth Farms Collective is an agroecological lighthouse organization composed of skilled Pan-African and Pan-Indigenous farmers, builders and educators who spread ancestral knowledge and train community members to build collectivized, autonomous, and chemical free food systems in urban and peri-urban environments throughout the Greater East San Francisco Bay Area.
“When we talk about composting, cover cropping, no-till agriculture—that’s been going on for thousands of years. It’s really just stuff we’re trying to come back to,” says Smith. “If regenerative agriculture does become the norm, I hope that it’s with the motive of the people, for the earth; [that] it’s really seen as the solution and not just a temporary trend.”