A place to belong: creating an urban, Indian, women-led land trust in the San Francisco Bay Area

Beth R. Middleton Manning, Corrina Gould, Johnella Larose, Melissa K. Nelson, Joanne Barker, Darcie L. Houck, Michelle G. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


When grounded in Indigenous epistemologies, land trust structures provide an effective, inclusive vehicle to enact community and landscape care in the face of colonial disruptions. The Sogorea Te’ Land Trust in Lisjan (Ohlone) homelands in the San Francisco East Bay Area is the first Indigenous, women-led, urban land trust in the world. Two Indigenous women active in the Bay Area Indigenous community saw multiple community needs that coalesced around a lack of land. Without land, there is no place for grounded spiritual practice, cultivation and processing of foods and medicine, and recognition of the First Peoples of the San Francisco East Bay area. Without land, ongoing colonial relations perpetuate exclusion of Indigenous peoples and desecration of their sacred places. We explore the development, framing, application, and expansion of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust as a vehicle for rematriating land and creating community in a diverse and dense urban Indigenous space. Through the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, the potential, goals, and possibilities of land trusts are reimagined beyond conservation to inclusive eco-cultural-community restoration and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalEcology and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Indigenous
  • land trust
  • resilience
  • urban
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


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