Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria

OAEC’s Collaboration with FIGR

Over the past decade, OAEC has forged a deep relationship with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR), the local Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo tribe whose ancestral homelands include the 80-acres in western Sonoma County upon which OAEC resides.

Photo: Tribal citizens at an OAEC traditional ecological knowledge workshop learn to forage native edible geophytes, or “Indian potatoes” (Perideridia gairdneri).

FIGR Youth

Tribal Youth with an elderberry harvest from the OAEC Wildlands Preserve.


Traditional Ecological Knowledge Workshops

Together, OAEC and FIGR engage with our 70-acre Wildlands Preserve to reconnect tribal citizens to the traditional ecological knowledge held by their native ancestors and to introduce methods of restoration ecology taught and practiced by the staff of OAEC. Since the first TEK workshop in 2007, OAEC has hosted many workshops and youth and family camps for and with tribal citizens. We work together to increase all of our knowledge of native flora and fauna, ecological processes, cultural resources and land management techniques. Ten to fifteen tribal families have spent two to three weekends each year at OAEC, steeped in nature, community and intergenerational learning. Workshop topics include traditional ecological knowledge, organic gardening and nutrition, and permaculture design.

Community Permaculture Design for the Tribal Trust Land

In 2013, FIGR invited OAEC to lead educational workshops and to help facilitate their citizens and staff in the development of a comprehensive, permaculture design-based Master Plan for their 170-acre tribal trust land in Rohnert Park, including plans for wetlands restoration and the development of sustainable agriculture projects.

Over the past years, OAEC has supported FIGR in their work to:

  • Create garden beds at the tribal office.
  • Develop their plans for Tolay Regional Park, an 1,800-acre site that is one of the most sacred places in the Tribe’s ancestral lands.
  • Lead tribal citizens in designing a new tribal community organic garden using Resilient Community Design.

Tribal Community Garden Project

In May 2016, FIGR contracted OAEC to facilitate the design and implementation of a 2.5 tribal garden, a project FIGR has dreamed of doing for many years.  Seven FIGR members of the Tribal Lands Council attended OAEC’s School Garden Teacher Training in June as part of their preparations.

Through tribal community work days, FIGR has transformed this untended land into a community gathering space with organic vegetable gardens and orchards with perennial borders, a basketry and medicinal garden, and a native plant restoration area.

This project continues the 20-year collaboration between OAEC and FIRG towards the Tribe’s mission of environmental and cultural restoration through reconnection to place, organic agriculture, and sovereign tribal land projects.


Together with FIGR, we strive to achieve:

  • cultural regeneration, ecological knowledge and community health for the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo peoples;
  • the biological restoration of their traditional homeland;
  • and a reawakening to deep and reciprocal relationship with Nature.

This collaboration is an example of our emphasis on building the resilience capacity of whole communities.

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