In the Land of My Ancestors

Showing In

Honor the Past to Shape the Future: Ohlone Women Reclaim their Homelands
Roxie Theater Fri, Sep 27, 2019 6:00 PM
Trailblazing Ohlone leaders are creating pathways to reclaim their ancestral lands, spirituality, and culture.
Film Info
Director:Rucha Chitnis
Year of Production:2019
Film Type:Short Film
Topic:Activism/People Power
Eco Heroes
Land Rights
SF Bay Area
Women's Leadership
Running Time:10 min.


Expected Guests: Filmmaker Rucha Chitnis, film's subjects Ann Marie Sayers and Kanyon Sayers-Rood, Native Scholar Melissa Nelson.

In the Land of my Ancestors celebrates the living legacy of Ann Marie Sayers, a beloved Ohlone elder. Ohlone people are not federally recognized as indigenous nations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ann Marie used the Indian Allotment Act of 1887 to reclaim her traditional land in Indian Canyon, which is the only federally recognized Indian territory for over 300 miles from Sonoma to the coast of Santa Barbara in California.

The documentary short reveals the profound suffering of the Ohlone people during the California Missions era and later as the Gold Rush followed, when there were bounties on the heads of California Natives. Indian Canyon served as a refuge for Ohlone people, who wanted to escape the harsh restrictions of the Missions and were able to find the canyon after navigating through a swamp. And today, it continues to serve as a sanctuary for many Native people who are reclaiming their indigeneity.

Rucha ChitnisRucha Chitnis is a photographer who documents the power, dignity and resiliency of women of color and grassroots communities in the face of economic, ecological and climate injustices.