Ask A Native

Saturday, October 16, 2021 • 2:00 p.m.

Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6

Join Exploratorium Osher Fellows Gregg Castro and Kanyon Sayers-Roods for an afternoon of dialog about their work, cultures, and experiences as natives of the Bay Area.

While the legacy of colonization in California has long erased the stories of native communities, Ohlone peoples continue to live and thrive in the Bay Area. Contained in their experiences is deep knowledge, culture, and connection to land. How can we build new connections and relationships grounded in honesty? How can we “honor truth in history”? And how can we build our understanding without romanticizing native cultures?

This panel discussion is for those seeking to engage directly with local California Indigenous activists about their experiences and cultures, and to learn about the many surviving and thriving communities of native peoples in the Bay Area.

Kanyon "Coyote Woman" (Hahashkani) Sayers-Roods is a Mutsun-Ohlone and Chumash woman. She is proud of her heritage and her native name and is an active leader in the native community. Kanyon is the co-founder and CEO of Kanyon Konsulting LLC, where she strives to bridge the gap between indigenous and contemporary value systems. Her goal is to "make a difference in the lives of others by sharing her life experiences and knowledge about California Native Americans," focusing on "global education with emphasis on promoting understanding of the relationship between humanity and the natural world."

Gregg Castro [t'rowt'raahl Salinan/rumsien-ramaytush Ohlone] has been involved in preservation of his cultural heritage for nearly three decades—both his late mother’s rumsien Ohlone heritage, and, on his late father’s side, the since-ended Salinan Nation Tribal Council (serving two terms as tribal chair) and currently the non-profit organization Salinan T’rowt’raahl. Gregg is a member of the Society for California Archaeology (SCA) and a co-facilitator for the annual California Indian Conference, a 30+-year gathering about California Indigenous heritage. Gregg is a writer and activist within the California indigenous community on issues regarding cultural preservation, protection, education, and traditional practices.