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Buried Voices details the struggle of the Ohlone and Miwok peoples, indigenous to the California Bay Area, to protect from desecration one of their most sacred places, now known as Brushy Peak in Livermore, CA. The film recounts how the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) blatantly ignores the concerns of local Native communities, instead plowing ahead with the development of a public recreation area atop the site of multiple tribes' origin stories. The construction uproots and damages artifacts and ancestral remains, transforming a place of most profound significance to the region’s longest continuous inhabitants into a multi-use hiking/biking trail.
Weaving together interviews with Native individuals and a top official within the park district, this documentary presents the story of Brushy Peak as a lens to explore the importance of indigenous voices guiding land stewardship. The film’s release coincides with a growing campaign to hold EBRPD accountable for their lack of consultation with local Native communities, an issue that many park districts and public agencies continue to grapple with. Buried Voices prompts engagement with an oft-overlooked aspect of the legacy of five hundred plus years of colonization.
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