The Village will serve a range of needs in a region grappling with a history of erasure: ‘There’s nothing like it anywhere’

The Bay Area is among the most racially and ethnically diverse regions in the US, but it is only slowly grappling with its self-understanding as a home for significant populations of Native Americans. An ambitious project is hoping to help address a challenge that the region’s Native population has grappled with since the occupation of Alcatraz Island in the late 1960s and early 70s: a crisis of invisibility.

The Village, a multi-year project with funding from the philanthropic investor Kat Taylor (who is married to Tom Steyer, the billionaire financier and brief Democratic presidential hopeful), is intended to become a center of Native culture and heritage. The effort is an outgrowth of the Mission District’s 57-year-old Friendship House, which describes itself as “the longest-running social-service organization in the United States run by and for American Indians”.

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