Land Acknowledgement

"We believe that much of the pain our country is wrestling with right now stems from America's avoidance and ignorance of past wrongs. Just like any relationship, true healing can only begin where there have been heartfelt amends and work to repair the broken trust. This acknowledgement and support of the Land Tax are our first steps in that journey." - Patrick Dooley, Founding Artistic Director

In the spirit of humility and respect, we request that you join us in acknowledging that the land beneath this theatre and our studios and throughout the East Bay, is Huichin [who-CHIN], the traditional, unceded land of the Lisjan [lih-SHAWN], Ohlone people.

This land was taken by force by Spanish, Mexican and U.S. armies and militias. Because we make theatre that calls us to reexamine our lives and the world around us, we believe it’s important to acknowledge this truth so everyone who lives here can think about what it means to benefit from this legacy. Sitting with this knowledge can be uncomfortable. One way to move towards a place of healing is to join in the work of restorative justice. Our company is taking direct action by paying our Shuumi Land Tax. “Shuumi” means “gift” in Chochenyo, the language of the Lisjan [lih-SHAWN]. The funds from the Shuumi Land Tax are used to facilitate the return of Bay Area native land to Indigenous stewardship and to help revitalize rich cultural practices and spiritual traditions that were lost in colonization.

To learn more about the work led by the urban, Indigenous women of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, and support the Native communities who still live on this land, please visit sogoreate-landtrust.org

If you have any questions or thoughts about this land acknowledgment, please email us at: feedback@shotgunplayers.org

Land Acknowledgement Mural

Shotgun Players is proud to partner with Sogorea Te’ Land Trust in creating a mural illustrating our land acknowledgement and a call to action for our community to support the work led by the team at Sogorea Te’. The public art mural will be installed outside on the west wall of The Ashby Stage, highly visible to both pedestrians and passing motorists. The building, located across the street from Ashby BART, is in South Berkeley’s Lorin District, one of the most diverse, artistic and transit accessible commercial districts in the City of Berkeley and the traditional Lisjan Ohlone territory of Huichin.

Shotgun Players is a company of artists determined to create bold, relevant, affordable theatre that inspires and challenges audiences and artists alike to re-examine our lives, our community, and the ever-changing world around us.

Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is an urban Indigenous women-led land trust based in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people. Through the practices of rematriation, cultural revitalization, and land restoration, Sogorea Te’ calls on native and non-native peoples to heal and transform the legacies of colonization, genocide, and patriarchy and to do the work our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do.

The Ashby Stage, located on unceded Lisjan Ohlone land in one of Berkeley's busiest intersections, has become known for its amazing murals. Our goal is to commission local, Indigenous, and POC artists to design and paint a mural that recognizes and celebrates the history and traditions of Native Culture in this community, as well as the living culture that is still present in the area today.

The original people of the land we are on are still here. Surviving waves of genocide, displacement, and development, the Lisjan Ohlone people continue to fight for the protection of their Sacred Sites and the environment.

In recognition of this history, in 2020 Shotgun reached out to Sogorea Te’ for guidance on our land acknowledgement statement. This began a new relationship, and a larger conversation about how our organizations could partner to create greater visibility and action for the local indigenous community. Thus the concept of a mural was born, as a way to create a highly visible public and creative invitation to our local community to learn more about the indigenous legacy of the land and how to support current local rematriation efforts. Along the way we’ve shared information and history of the Lisjan people past and present, and invite everyone to do the same.