WE ARE STILL HERE (11/21/09)

The mural entitled WE ARE STILL HERE is the last permanent mural to adorn the walls of the Cesar Chavez Student Center - West Plaza, at the San Francisco State University.

The mural's primary artist, Marc Nicely has visited many countries where he has his works commissioned - including China. The other artist who is from California, Larry Sallawy helped Marc Nicely with mural.

The mural named the Native American Mural was commissioned by the Cesar Chavez Student Center Governing Board in October of 2005. It was dedicated November 20, 209. The mural depicts community activism, self determination, resistance and survivance of Native American peoples - and the defense of native lands. The title of the Mural - WE ARE STILL HERE.

Special guest honored the Oakes Family. We all remember Richard Oakes, Kashaya Pomo and have fond memories of the room named after him at San Francisco State University. So fitting on this 40th anniversary of the take over of Alcatraz Island that initiated many important revolutions all over the United States.

Kudos to the current Chair of the Native American Mural Committee Jacqueline Mendez and to Raul Amaya, Dianna Baldwin, Guy Dalpe, Mario Flores, Frank Kellum, Philip M.Klasky, Aimee Zenzele Barnes, April McGill, Michelle Moreira, Nadia Moreira, Alberto Olivares, Michelle Rodriguesz, Gabriela Segovia-McGahan, and Rebecca Toporek.

The Muwekma Ohlone were conspicuously absent and no one had any explanation as to why this happened on this auspicious day. They are the First People of San Francisco.

The ceremony began and someone dressed in some English colonial garb steeped in immoral turpitude had the audacity to speak and more pray of behalf of the Muwekma Ohlone. Those from American Canyon have no patrimonial jurisdiction over the remains at neither Yerba Buena nor performing a ritual on behalf of the Muwekma Ohlone. First People have protocols not written in any books. It is a great dishonor to the Tribe, the local host for some outsider to come and cause such disorder on any level - and that too on such a conspicuous occasion.

The fake ceremony began at 11:15 and shortly after there was such a gust of wind and heavy rain that the ceremony and speech making had to be taken indoors. There was much rambling about this and that and only three persons acknowledged the First People generally as Ohlone and none the Muwekma Ohlone: www.muwekma.org.

The mural connects the dots and takes us on a short journey an important one. The mural the last permanent mural on the walls of West Plaza at Cesar Chavez Student Center is a noble venture and one that should heal the wounds and take us all on a holistic journey to a better place. However, it is critical to know and keep in mind the Spirituality that pays an important role in all rituals, and protocol. It is pertinent to first acknowledge then ask the BLESSINGS of the local Tribe - in this case the Muwekma Ohlone.

Any unholy desecration can be made whole but that takes understanding and there are shamans today that can take care of that. Institutions of learning mostly lack sound sense of spirituality and here is one glaring example where the plane was hijacked from the Muwekma by those that have no authority - what so ever.

The American Indian Studies linked to the San Francisco State University has much to learn from this incident of sorts. A black eye for sure. Enjoy the photographs:


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