Desi Harp, our Educator and Events Assistant at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, describes doing traditional Wappo ceremonies at Sugarloaf as “one of the most impactful things that I have done in my life.”

Sonoma Ecology Center recognizes that our work is done on the traditional territories of the Mishewal-Wappo, Me-Wuk (Lake Miwok), and Southern Pomo peoples, who have stewarded this land for generations.

Going beyond the land acknowledgement, we invite you to watch Steps to Land Back: Wappo and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, a short film by the Redbud Resource Group, on the partnership between Sonoma Ecology Center staff, the Sugarloaf community, and the Mishewal-Wappo tribe members. With the goal of restoring indigenous stewardship to the land, we have worked collaboratively with Mishewal-Wappo tribe members and other partners such as the Redbud Resource Group to continuously learn and create a welcoming environment for indigenous peoples to reconnect to the land that Sugarloaf Ridge State Park now stands.

Alyx Howell-Pina, a Wappo tribal member, talking to John Roney, Park Manager at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. 

“The film exemplifies best practices in strengthening Tribal sovereignty and building relationships between Native and Non Native communities,” says the Redbud Resource Group. We believe this partnership serves as an example of what meaningful Steps to Land Back could look like.

The film features our very own, Desi Harp, who is the Educator and Events Assistant at Sonoma Ecology Center, and Mishewal-Wappo tribe member, and John Roney, Park Manager at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, along with Alyx Howell-Pina, a Mishewal-Wappo tribal member.