Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Receives $20 Million Shuumi Land Tax Contribution from Kataly Foundation

The Kataly Foundation
3 min readMar 4, 2024

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Contribution is the single largest known cash gift to a Native land trust in history

Sogorea Te’ Land Trust (STLT) and the Kataly Foundation are proud to announce that Sogorea Te’ Land Trust has received a Shuumi contribution of $20 million from Kataly. Kataly made this contribution to Sogorea Te’ to support their rematriation work on Lisjan (Ohlone) land and beyond.

Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, an urban, Indigenous women-led land trust based in the San Francisco Bay Area, facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people. Their work includes urban gardens, cultural revitalization, language revival, emergency response strategies, youth programming, and land restoration.

An “On Indigenous Land” sign on the fence at one of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust garden sites. Photo courtesy of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, by Inés Ixierda.

The Shuumi Land Tax is an annual contribution that non-Indigenous people who live on Lisjan Ohlone territory can make to support Sogorea Te’ Land Trust’s rematriation work.

“Shuumi means gift in the Chochenyo language. This gift gives us the ability to stand in sovereignty in our own self-determination to dream and enact rematriation in a different way. It gives us a foundation to vision and lay down the work for the next seven generations,” said Johnella LaRose (Shoshone Bannock/Carrizo) co-founder Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.

Within philanthropy, Indigenous-led organizations are historically vastly underfunded. According to Native Americans in Philanthropy, between 2002 and 2016, the average share of annual grant dollars explicitly benefitting Native Americans was 0.4%.

“Philanthropy has a long history of extracting wealth from communities. Making this Shuumi contribution is one step towards repair, and it is also our responsibility as a foundation that exists on Ohlone land,” said Nwamaka Agbo, CEO of the Kataly Foundation. “As a spend-out foundation, it was possible for us to make a large, lump sum payment. Not every foundation is able to make a Shuumi contribution in precisely this way, but there are many ways to give, and we encourage all funders to consider how they can make these contributions in ways that are proportionate to their own assets.”

As a foundation created in the Bay Area, Kataly wanted to pay Shuumi in the place where its team lives and works. Within philanthropy, there is a common practice of engaging in land acknowledgements, recognizing and naming whose land we live on. Kataly recognizes the importance of these practices, but the Foundation also wanted to take action with one of the more powerful tools at its disposal as a funder: redistributing wealth.

Sogorea Te’ Land Trust receives Shuumi contributions from a variety of people and institutions throughout the Bay Area, including individual community members, nonprofit organizations, and other philanthropic institutions. These land tax contributions are an essential way to power the work of the organization. Though Sogorea Te’ generally does not publicize donations, after some consideration, the significance of this contribution has inspired the organization to share the news to motivate others with wealth to take transformative actions. These funds will support the land trust’s work in urban Indigenous land care, restoration, and reclamation.

“It’s an encouraging sign of the times that a foundation is significantly investing in Indigenous women’s leadership in the Bay and supporting the rematriation of land to the first people, as a way to address historic and environmental injustices,” commented Sogorea Te’ Land Trust board member Melissa K Nelson (Turtle Mountain Chippewa).

To learn more about Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, please visit the website: Sogoreate-landtrust.org

To learn more about the Kataly Foundation, please visit the website: katalyfoundation.org

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The Kataly Foundation

The Kataly Foundation moves resources to support the economic, political, and cultural power of Black and Indigenous people, and all communities of color.