How Retelling Indigenous Histories Create a More Just Future
This Week from the Emergence Magazine Podcast
Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.
Across the United States, Indigenous communities are calling for sweeping revisions to stories commonly told as “history”—stories that, even today, neglect and erase Indigenous peoples and serve as justification for continued ownership of stolen Indigenous lands. This three-part series is the multigenerational story of a Coast Miwok family’s eviction from their ancestral home in Northern California and one woman’s mission to bring the living history of her family back to the land. Throughout this series, Theresa Harlan chronicles the story of her family’s displacement from their homestead on a cove in Tomales Bay and shares her grassroots efforts to involve the wider community in protecting both the history and the future of this place.
As she tells her family’s story, Theresa makes a powerful claim: remembering and retelling inclusive histories has the power to create a more just future. In this series we ask: Who gets to define history? In what ways is it our responsibility to ensure that a shared history is an accurate and just representation of the places we call home?
In Episode 1, Theresa Harlan shares the story of her Coast Miwok family’s eviction from their homestead on a cove in Tomales Bay—an uprooting which ended her family’s time there but did not sever their connection to the ancestral lands and waters of Tamal-liwa.
Originally released on January 25, 2022.
Theresa Harlan is founder of the Alliance for Felix Cove, a nonprofit dedicated to celebrating her Coast Miwok family’s life at Tomales Bay. She has a long history of working in the Native American community as an art writer, curator, and consultant. Her essay “A View of Our Home, Tomales Bay, Calif.: Portrait of a Coast Miwok Family, 1930–1945” appeared in Our People, Our Land, Our Images: Indigenous Photographers. Theresa is a board member of KGUA radio and the Native Media Resource Center. Born in San Francisco, she is the adopted daughter of Elizabeth Campigli Harlan (Coast Miwok) and John Harlan. By birth, she is Jemez Pueblo and an enrolled member of Kewa Pueblo of New Mexico.
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