Honoring the Land
Long before California, Sonoma County, and Sonoma State University, the land around us was inhabited by indigenous peoples collectively known as the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo. Now they are formally recognized as the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and chaired by Greg Sarris, who also holds the Graton Rancheria Endowed Chair at SSU.
Sonoma State acknowledges in gratitude the Rancheria’s ancestors for their stewardship of the land and all of its resources, and thank the current membership for their partnership in a number of educational initiatives, including the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Learning Center at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve, located on Sonoma Mountain.
As Professor Sarris writes in his 2017 book How A Mountain Was Made, “It is said that Coyote was sitting atop Sonoma Mountain when he decided to create the world and people—but that is part of the big story of the Mountain..." We are now all part of the big story of the Mountain, and our stewardship of its resources, including our county and our university, is an ongoing, vital responsibility we recognize and gladly accept. Learn more about our Native American Initiative at Sonoma State University.
Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Grove
The Grove, situated on the Sonoma State campus lake, was established to remember and honor those who endured, and continue to endure, global acts of genocide. Punctuated by a sculpture designed by Associate Professor of Sculpture Jann Nunn, this contemplative space also features a sapling from the original horse chestnut tree that stood outside the Secret Annex of the Anne Frank house in Germany, where she hid from the Nazis for more than two years and composed her famous diary. Sonoma State’s sapling – one of only 11 granted by the Anne Frank Center – was planted in the Grove in 2013, in acknowledgment of our dedication to the values of equity, tolerance, civil rights, and social justice.
The Seawolf Commitment
Sonoma State University is committed to creating a community in which bias and intolerance have no place. It is our expectation that all students, faculty, and staff work together to honor this commitment and hold each other accountable to create an open and inclusive environment. Learn more about the Seawolf Commitment.