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After decades struggling to protect her ancestors’ burial places, now engulfed by San Francisco’s sprawl, a Native woman from a non-federally recognized Ohlone tribe and her allies occupy a sacred site to prevent its desecration. When this life-altering event fails to stop the development, they vow to follow a new path- to establish the first women-led urban Indigenous land trust. Beyond Recognition explores the quest to preserve one’s culture and homeland in a society bent on erasing them.

Shattering stereotypes, this half hour film tells the inspiring story of women creating opportunities amid a system that fractures Native communities across the nation. Through cinéma vérité, interviews, and stunning footage of the land, Beyond Recognition introduces Corrina Gould, Johnella LaRose, and Indian People Organizing for Change as they embark on an incredible journey to transform the way we see cities.

The film invites viewers to examine their own relationship to place, revealing histories that have been buried by shifting landscapes. Beyond Recognition points to the intersection of human rights, women’s rights, and environmental protection, spotlighting a California story that has national and worldwide resonance.

Beyond Recognition premiered on Public Television Station KRCB Channel 22 in November 2014 for Native American Heritage Month and was rebroadcasted there in March 2015 for Women’s History Month.  It is currently airing on national Public Television Stations through NETA, First Nations Experience (FNX), and the award winning series, Natural Heroes. The film was awarded Best Short at the 2015 San Francisco Green Film Festival. It debuted at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in January 2015 followed by Cinequest Film Festival, Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, Human Rights Film Festival, London’s Native Spirit Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Red Nation Film Festival, and DC Independent Film Festival.  Please stay tuned for other screenings and broadcast dates in the coming months.

Educational and home video DVDs of the film are now available through Documentary Educational Resources (DER).

Please visit Underexposed Films for more information on the work of filmmaker Michelle Grace Steinberg.

View the opening of Beyond Recognition:

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  • We can create a healing for the people that are here. Not just the Ohlone people but all people that exist on this land.”
    corrina-bioCorrina Gould
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