The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone (ARO) represents the interests of the original peoples of the San Francisco Peninsula. The purposes of the ARO align with our ancestral responsibilities to care for Mother Earth and to care for the people who reside in our ancestral homeland. The ARO partners with other organizations and agencies to pursue its objectives:
- the rematriation of our ancestral homeland
- cultural revitalization, including language
- research, consultation, and education to ensure accuracy in public culture and history
- ecological restoration
- community service
Objectives Project Areas
1. Land Rematriation
Rematriation, as opposed to repatriation, refers to the giving back of the earth to our Earth Mother, or, more specifically, to the original stewards who embrace the traditional practice of listening to our Earth Mother for instruction. From our Earth Mother we receive two basic responsibilities: the care for the earth and to care for people (i.e., the residents who live in our traditional territory) in the same way that Mother Earth has for millenia.
2. Cultural Revitalization
The near total genocide of our ancestors was accompanied by a cultural genocide as well—to date we have very little left our culture and language, and so one of our primary goals is to reanimate our traditions and to establish new traditions in our homeland.
3. Research, Consultation, and Education
The ARO has and will continue to produce publicly available research on California Indian history and culture, including scholarship on Ramaytush and Ohlone peoples. The ARO continues to consult with other entities on interpretive projects involving Native peoples. In addition, the ARO participates in public education at a number of levels, from the development of curriculum to the offering public presentations. In our ecological work, we will partner with practitioners from area universities such as UCSF, to advance the understanding of climate health and resiliency.
4. Ecological Restoration
Our responsibility to care for Mother Earth can be captured in the contemporary language of ecological restoration, which includes protection and preservation. Because the ARO lacks the resources and human power to accomplish its ecological restoration goals, we partner with other organizations on restoration projects. We seek to reforest our homelands and reintroduce fire-resistant native grasses, blending the best of traditional ecological knowledge with what our settler partners have to offer from ecological sciences. Moving away from cow-centered carbon cycling models to ones that privilege the more complex web of life in forest ecologies and biodiverse soil, we seek to show how Indigenous practices of land management are critical in addressing climate collapse. Given the recent explosion of wildfires, this timing of this work is urgent.
5. Community Service
Our responsibility to care for the people who reside in our ancestral homeland manifests in a variety of ways, from providing services for Indigenous and other marginalized communities to advocacy at the highest levels of government.