Who Gets to Define History?
Part 2 of the Limited Series, Coming Home to the Cove
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 Two we learn that the Coast Miwok culture predates the geological formation of the San Francisco Bay. In tracing thousands of years of Indigenous presence and history, all the way through the oppressive colonial systems that have become today’s mainstream culture, this episode asks: Who gets to define history?