Seed Grant Programs

oṭṭoy: A Healing Collaboration Between Cafe Ohlone and the Hearst Museum

Principal Investigators:

Lauren Kroiz, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley
History of Art Department
Faculty Director, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
Affiliated Faculty, Arts Research Center, American Studies Program, Center for Race and Gender



Elizabeth Hoover, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

Kent G. Lightfoot, Professor, UC Berkeley
Department of Anthropology
Curator, North American Archaeology, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino
mak-‘amham/Cafe Ohlone

Research Summary

How can western colonial institutions like museums contribute to contemporary Indigenous food sovereignty efforts? How can we mesh Indigenous food principles with the Western food service industry to provide desired educational outcomes through culturally relevant food? 

To begin addressing this, we are proposing a series of monthly collaborative convenings with UC Berkeley faculty and staff from across campus, as well as Indigenous community partners, to provide us a springboard for envisioning and funding an Indigenous Food Systems Research Hub based out of the Hearst Museum. UC Berkeley, which continues to warehouse thousands of Indigenous ancestors, has historically had a fraught relationship with the broader Ohlone community. The Hearst Museum and our associated colleagues across campus are working to address some of this relational healing through collaborative programming with local Indigenous people while navigating broader UC bureaucracy.

Fundamentally our proposed convenings will build on existing campus partnerships between Cafe Ohlone proprietors Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino at Berkeley, including with the campus gardens, providing space to ask larger questions and implement experiments together around how institutions at UCB can contribute to systemic healing and Indigenous food sovereignty.