by Felicia Gabaldon
Emeryville, USA – September 2022
The East Bay is traditional Lisjan Ohlone land.
I was assigned this topic surrounding specifically Bay Area activism which is much a part of the cultural climate here. This topic surrounds the very idea of how pivotal environmental injustices affect racial injustices. I am an indigenous person from Santa Fe, NM, who is of the Choctaw Nation. My art is directly indicative of my heritage as not only Indigenous but of Spanish descent. It reflects on tradition and colonization. I worked with some topics covered by the Sogorea Te’ foundation. This is Ohlone Land which is sacred. The basket in the sky is based on an Ohlone pattern used in their culture of basket weaving.
Also, the background leaf pattern honors local plant life known as California white sage. The pelicans are endangered in the area, and wolves have always been endangered in the state of California. This piece was meant to serve as a reminder that, as a whole, it is in our best interest to honor the people and the land that was taken over many years ago from the Indigenous inhabitants and to acknowledge the waste we’ve dumped into building here in Emeryville.