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Witness the Healing tells the story of one woman's quest to find her Ohlone ancestors, a journey intersecting with an unseen California history.

Healing is not easy.
This film is no easy answer.
Its my attempt to share
The experience of my family
That traces its roots in San Francisco and the Bay back to before the state of California
Rupturing around the time an order issued paying bounty for California Indians.
This is a film about a journey
Started on the day I asked my dad, ‘where are our relatives in Mexico?’
He said he didn’t know, which didn’t add up
I persisted,
He resisted,
I would not relent
‘Ohlone,’ I think we are Ohlone.

Those words brought me back to California
And to a whole identity I did not know
History books told me all the Ohlone were gone.
Only one day, a group of Mexica dancers took me there
Where it said, ‘Welcome to Ohlone Territory,’
And I was to find out
I was not alone.

Joy, happiness and honor were the feelings I carried
To my elders, ‘please tell me more’
Only they were not filled with joy or happiness
And they did not want me to be either.
So I cried, and cried
I read, and read
And wept and wept
Until the tears could not come anymore
And I knew the only way through
Healing

‘Witness the Healing’ shares my story in search of my family’s Ohlone roots, and builds upon my short film and public projection of the same name, by incorporating now the larger historical context of the intersections of place and time where my family lived, sharing some important historical facts of the San Francisco, Almaden and Monterrey Mission corridor. This film gives a look to a side of the Bay Area history never seen.

When I released my short film in 2006, I was still very much in the middle of the search for my ancestor’s history, and still a relatively new member of the Ohlone community. I was nervous about sharing my experience. Yet, the response from community members, and within the larger Native American community was extremely inspiring, and spurred me to develop the project and start the Kickstarter project!

With your support, this film will share a common experience for Native Americans that often have difficulty uncovering the history of their Native American relatives. The additional funding will make it possible to return for fresh interviews with my family, reflecting our new research and discoveries. Kickstarter support will make it possible to traveling to visit and film at the archives where my family history is stored, preserving the same for younger generations.

Importantly, Witness the Healing shares the Ohlone history in the Bay Area with a focus on contemporary activity over the last 50 years, building up from pre-Contact through archival and historical accounts, interviews with humanities experts and historians. Interviews with Ohlone community members and leaders, whose reflections on their own family history, bring a broader understanding of the Ohlone experience from statehood forward.

Your support will help bring to light an important story, not just of the tough history, but so importantly, Witness the Healing shares how the Ohlone community and families are moving forward today towards healing. Witness the Healing is a universal story that knows no bounds or borders, sadly, and yet still, in sharing our experiences, we can inspire healing in general, and that is ultimately, a pretty good thing.

Will you join me?

The $10,000 will make it possible to film this summer at archival locations in San Francisco, San Jose, and Monterrey, and interview family, community members and humanities and history scholars. I will add the new footage to the footage I have shot over the last five years, crafting a story that is character-driven, engaging, and shares a whole view of San Francisco never seen.

Please join the healing! The Supporter Rewards seek to honor all contributions towards this healing journey, and I hope you’ll enjoy the various packages, some emphasize digital media or photo packages for those who may prefer one or the other of my work. There are combo packs that reward with both types of rewards.

The search for my Ohlone heritage has given way to a deeper connection with the Bay Area Native Community, and in the process, the honor of creating a community documentary that explores the state of Museum and Native Nations relations by documenting the innovative de Young Museum’s Native American Programming Committee’s work. As part of a Cultural Encounters Commissioned Artist, I am also creating a three-panel video installation for the de Young Museum Tower that will open in March 2011. I have offered some rewards related to this project, as another means to Witness the Healing, and learn more about the Bay Area Ohlone and Native Communities.

Your contribution will also fund two Ohlone youth media internships for college and high school students. I participated in the Ohlone Youth Media Training in March 2010 and I will ask students from that program to participate.

Thank you for taking a gander at my proposal. If you have a few minutes, consider the video pitch. Above all, thanks for your connection to healing, in whatever form you offer it to the world!

Catherine Herrera
June 08, 2010

To see the images from the Landless Indian series, visit http://www.photoshelter.com/mem/gallery/gallery-show...

For the 'Relations' Project photos, please visit http://catherineherrera.photoshelter.com/gallery/Relations-Project-Photo-Gallery-by-Catherine-Herrera/G0000mZ9Kyk0bHkg

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    1 backer

    A Blessing Supporter, be a part of the Healing Circle!: 1) Receive a Shell Blessing Gift, 2) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 3) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $10 or more
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    Art as Healer Supporter, You know the power of Art to Heal: 1) Join in the ‘Witness the Healing’ Artist Talk by Skype upon release of film, 2) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing,' ’Shell Blessing Gift, Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    1 backer

    Healing Curious Supporter: You like the concept, and are curious to know more about this healing business! 1) 4 Newsletters with reports from the ‘Witness the Healing’ production with unique stories from the journey, and from the history books, 2) Artist Talk Skype, 3) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing,’ 4) Shell Blessing Gift, 5) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $45 or more
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    Healing Presence Supporter, Receive: 1) Invite to attend Inauguration and Artist Reception for the de Young ‘Relations’ Installation and Documentary screening to learn more about Ohlone History, 2) Newsletters, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing,5) ’Shell Blessing Gift, 6) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $45 or more
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    Healing Presence Supporter, Receive: 1) ‘Witness the Healing’ DVD, 2) Newsletters, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 5) Shell Blessing Gift, 6) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    1 backer

    Looking beyond Healing Supporter, Receive: 1) Two, unique Multimedia Digital Reports bringing unique stories about contemporary Ohlone efforts to bring about healing today, 2) Newsletters, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing Shell Blessing Gift, 5) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $65 or more
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    Visualizing Healing Supporter, Receive: 1) Landless Indian Photography Book, 2) the companion book of photographs for ‘Witness the Healing,’ 3) Newsletters, 4) Artist Talk Skype, 5) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 6) Shell Blessing Gift, 7) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $65 or more
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    0 backers

    Visualizing Healing Supporter, Receive: 1) ‘Witness the Healing’ DVD, 2) Two, unique Multimedia Reports on contemporary Ohlone life, 3) Newsletters, 4) Artist Talk Skype, 5) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 6) Shell Blessing Gift, 7) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $85 or more
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    Healing Messenger Supporter, Receive: 1) T-shirt with your favorite image from the Landless Indian Series, 2) ‘Witness the Healing’ DVD, 3) Two, unique Multimedia Digital Reports on contemporary Ohlone life, 4) Newsletters, 5) Artist Talk Sype, 6) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 7) Shell Blessing Gift, 8) Healing Supporter Mention in Credits

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    Healing Supporter, Receive: 1) Landless Indian series, or, Relations series book of photos from the Commission at the de Young Museum, 2) ‘Witness the Healing’ DVD, 3) Newsletters, 4) Artist Talk Sype, 5) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 6) Shell Blessing Gift, 7) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $150 or more
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    Healing Partner Media Package Supporter, Receive: 1) Digital sharing of ‘Witness the Healing’ upon festival release, 2) Multimedia Digital Report on contemporary Ohlone life, 3) Newsletters, 4) Artist Talk Skype Call, 5) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 6) Shell Blessing Gift, 7) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $150 or more
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    Healing Partner Photo Package Supporter, Receive: 1) Landless Indian series book, 2) 1 8x10 signed print from the Landless Indian series book, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Newsletters, 5) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing, 6) Shell Blessing Gift, 7) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    Healing Visions Supporter, Receive: 1) Archival, signed ‘Landless Indian’ or ‘Relations’ series photos – 8x10, 2 Multimedia Digital Reports on contemporary Ohlone life, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Newsletters, 5) Shell Blessing Gift, 6) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $300 or more
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    Vision Large Supporter, Receive: 1) Archival, signed ‘Landless Indian’ or ‘Relations’ series photos – 11x14, 2) 2 Multimedia Digital Reports on contemporary Ohlone life, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Newsletters, 5) Shell Blessing Gift, 6) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $375 or more
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    Healing through Sharing Supporter, Receive: 1) Private viewing of Witness the Healing and Artist talk for up to 12 people, 2) ‘Witness the Healing’ DVD, 3) Two Multimedia Digital Reports on contemporary Ohlone life, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Newsletters, 5) Email Invite to local screenings of ‘Witness the Healing,’ 6) Shell Blessing Gift, 7) Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    Major Healing Supporter, Receive: 1) Private dinner, screening and dinner with Director for supporter and 10 friends, 2) Multimedia Digital Reports, 3) Artist Talk Skype, 4) Newsletters, 5) Invite to the de Young Installation Inauguration and Artist Reception for ‘Relations’ documentary and installation to learn more Ohlone history, 6) Private walk through of ‘Relations’ Installation at the de Young Museum, 7) Shell Blessing Gift, 8) Visionary Healing Supporter mention in Credits

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    Healing Organizer Supporter, Receive: 1) Community screening for organization or community event, 2) Director Talk at event, 3) ‘Witness the Healing’ DVD and Special Invite to local screening, 4) 2 8 x 10 Archival, signed prints from series, 5) Shell Blessing Gift 6) 1 11 x 14 Archival, signed prints, 7) 4 Multimedia Digital Reports on contemporary Ohlone life, 8) Artist Talk Skype, 9) Newsletters, 10) Invite to the de Young Installation Inauguration and Artist Reception, 10) Private walk through of Installation at the de Young Museum, 11) Shell Blessing Gift, 12) Committed to Promoting Healing Mention in Credits

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    Healing Promoter Supporter, Receive: 1) Large community screening of “Witness the Healing,” , or, 1) Private, Small screening and discussion with Director, 2) ‘Witness the Healing’ DVD and Special Invite to local screening, 3) 2 8 x 10 Archival, signed prints from ‘Landless Indian’ series, 4) 2 11 x 14 Archival, signed prints from ‘Landless Indian’ series, 5) 4 Multimedia Digital Reports on contemporary Ohlone life, 6) Invite to the de Young ‘Relations’ Installation Inauguration and Artist Reception, 7) Private walk through of Installation at the de Young Museum, 8) Choice of T-Shirt or other product with favorite Landless Indian series image, 9) Artist Talk Skype, 10) Newsletters, 11) Shell Blessing Gift, 12) Healing Visionary Credit

Funding period

- (49 days)