Laney College

Media Student Work

Media Student Work

Buried Voices

A Film by Michelle Steinberg


Buried Voices details the struggle of Ohlone and Miwok people, indigenous to the California Bay Area, to protect one of their most sacred places, now known as Brushy Peak in Livermore, CA. The film recounts how the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) blatantly ignores the concerns of local indigenous peoples, instead plowing ahead with the development of a public recreation area atop the site of multiple tribes’ origin stories. The construction uproots and damages artifacts and ancestral remains, transforming a site of most profound significance to the area’s longest continuous inhabitants into a multi-use hiking/biking trail.

Weaving together interviews with Native individuals and a top official within the park district, this documentary presents the story of Brushy Peak as a lens to explore the importance of indigenous voices guiding land stewardship. The film’s release coincides with a growing campaign to hold EBRPD accountable for their lack of consultation with local indigenous communities, an issue that many park districts and public agencies continue to grapple with. Buried Voices prompts engagement with an oft-overlooked part of the legacy of five hundred plus years of colonization.


Official Screeneings

North America Premiere
Northern California Sacred Sites Panel
Oakland, United States
June 2012

Western Europe Premiere
Peliculoso Film Night
Berlin, Germany
August 2012

CSU Anthropology Forum & California Indian Conference
Chico, United States
September 2012

American Indian Film Festival
San Francisco, United States
November 2012

Presentation at University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, United States
November 2012

LA Skins Film Festival
Los Angeles, United States
November 2012