The Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC. has changed from a mutual benefit corporation, to a Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to “relief of poverty in urban rez (sf bay area), mutual aid admin.”
This is a change from the tribal government Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC was purporting itself to be.
The original Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC operated in obscurity.
In the “Tribal Consulting Industry“, the Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC, was known for having a propensity for burning bridges with industry experts and professionals who came to actually help Corrina Gould, and her family. As well as interfering with, and “hijacking” the land and struggles of other Native American tribes. Corrina, herself, is known for attacking and bullying people behind the scenes.
As soon as I reported my experiences with Corrina Gould, and started showing you my research, I was contacted by other people who had bad experiences with the Gould’s, and Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC.
They told me that this is typical behavior by Corrina Gould; and that they, too, had experienced bullying, betrayal, or some other type of harassment/mistreatment by Gould, her family, and followers.
My sources gave me their own stories, and more than one honestly suggested that it’s not worth my time to cover this topic; expressed concern over being harassed by Gould’s “followers”. Told me that they could be dangerous. But it’s difficult not to talk about this. Because people ask me about this subject pretty frequently.
I’m not the only person to take a look at how Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC., and Sogorea Te Land Trust were set-up, and see red flags. But no one wanted to report on this subject because they’re afraid of being called racist, misogynist, being cancelled, or just harassed by Gould, her family, and followers.
You don’t know about this, because–up until now–Corrina Gould has managed to bully people who question her into silence; or discredit anyone who disagrees with her by calling them, “colonizers” or “karens”.
This all describes efforts by Corrina Gould to avoid the question. To deflect scrutiny back on to her “attacker”.
Corrina Gould’s supporters enable this, by blindly believing everything she says, without thinking critically about the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, and how come Corrina Gould isn’t enrolled in the tribe that she’s from; the real Ohlone tribe in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Instead of being led by pure emotion, and zero analytical thought: how about read a book or something?
Actually look at the court records, and all of these other documents which are public, and available to you.
If you’re woke-woke, you do your own research, right?
You question authority and find out for yourself, right?
I also wanted to believe the narrative that Corrina Gould has created, because it’s so powerful, and attractive, and righteous.
But her narrative only lends more obfuscation to the situation; and levies the ignorance and confusion surrounding Bay Area Native History, Land Trusts, and what a Tribal Government really is.
There’s supposed to be a segue here, but I can’t think of one to say I want to look at these two things:
Corrina Gould’s failed negotiations at West Berkeley; and the lie of Glen Cove.
These events are important, because:
- They are well-known;
- What I’m about to say is easy to verify; and,
- This topic hasn’t been critically addressed, until now.
“West Berkeley Shellmound”
The most important thing you need to know is: CVL was offered a cultural center, outdoor park, and money for use of the land in West Berkeley, until it was to be completely turned over to Ohlone people in 99 years or something–which is a lot of rent money. (This article, from Berkeleyside mentions the cultural education center.)
But Gould refused this offer, out-right, and continued to make unreasonable demands, and unrealistic counter-offers, all the while telling the public that Native American people were being ignored.
In reality, Corrina Gould walked away from the sweetest deal for urban land back that I’ve never found an equivalent to.
In fact: it was because Tribal Consultation had occurred in West Berkeley–using Andrew Galvan’s archeological company–that we know the Spenger’s Parking Lot in Berkeley is not a shellmound.
The City of Berkeley’s “West Berkeley Shellmound” historical district was purposely created in a space larger than the footprint of the actual shellmound because the people who planned and created the district didn’t know where the shellmound actually was. These details all came out in the litigation over the West Berkeley Shellmound, and is public record.
From the perspective of everyone involved in West Berkeley, except for Corrina Gould: the parties attempting to negotiate with Corrina delayed the project, made extraordinary good faith concessions in negotiations. The City and Property Owners (Ruegg & Ellsworth) did everything they could, short of stopping construction of housing during a housing crisis.
The planning process had already taken place; the Environmental Impact Report was finished; and, Tribal Consultation and Scoping was completed with the West Berkeley Shellmound’s Most Likely Descendant (as determined by the Native American Heritage Commision), Andrew Galvan.
The bulk of Corrina’s legal battles have been fought behind the auspices of the Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC.
But claiming to have “fought battles” in court, when you’ve barely been allowed to file as an intervenor is a stretch. The most that Corrina Gould managed to do during the ensuing litigation was delay the inevitable, and make things extremely expensive for everyone, except her, and CVL (Sogorea Te Land Trust paid for the attorneys.)
The City of Berkeley knew its hands were tied, that it would be improper to deny Ruegg & Ellsworth’s permit, and contrary to law. But, Corrina Gould wanted the development stopped, at all costs….
Even though it was too late in the process. Even though tribal consultation had already taken place. Even though Corrina Gould didn’t have the tribal authority to sue for an injunction; because the Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC is not a Tribal Government.
So what did Corrina Gould do?
Gould threatened to sue the City of Berkeley (May 2018), if Berkeley didn’t deny Ruegg & Ellsworth’s project permit.
Even though the City of Berkeley knew it was improper to deny the permit; and contrary to existing law (SB 35.)
Even though Tribal Consultation, and two archeological studies had been conducted; and concluded the parking lot wasn’t where the shellmound was; and the “overspread”, “remnants” of the shellmound underneath the lot certainly was not a “structure” by any of today’s standards. It was probably moved from a different location, where the mound actually was. [Perhaps for road building, or agriculture.]
The City of Berkeley knew that they could be sued by Ruegg & Ellsworth; which would cost tens of thousands of dollars, and likely end in defeat.
But the City still denied the project permit. And it did end in defeat….
Ruegg & Ellsworth filed for a writ of mandate to compel Berkeley to comply with SB 35.
First, The Alameda County Superior Court ruled in favor of the City of Berkeley denying the permit.
Then, Ruegg & Ellsworth appealed the ruling of the Superior Court, and was ultimately awarded judgment, and granted a mandate to compel the City of Berkeley’s compliance with California law.
From the perspective of CVL, and Sogorea Te, this story ends abruptly; with the filing of an appeal to the California Supreme Court. There was a lot of hype about “taking the fight to the supreme court”.
Fundraising and Social Media Campaigns went into high gear.
But we never heard about the outcome.…
Even that article makes the mistake of not recognizing Confederated Villages of the Lisjan as a Corporation, versus the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is actually comprised of, and represents the real, bona fide, Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area.
We’re talking about thousands of people legitimately enrolled in a tribe, versus, a brand-new corporation (from 2017) that claims to have “over 85 members”, and has been around “since time immemorial.”
Corrina Gould argues that “her” tribe is unrecognized. That they are being treated unfairly, and ignored. Gould has also said she shares a common ancestor with Muwekma, in Jose Guzman–but that they are not the same tribe, somehow.
When you look at their websites: CVL never mentions Muwekma. Sogorea Te Land Trust never mentions Muwekma, either.
But, somehow, their “historical background” seems to mirror perfectly the real story of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Both corporations (CVL and Sogorea Te Land Trust) made their mission to advocate for Ohlone people, and put native land, into native hands. But neither organization has dedicated their assets to any specific Native American tribe that is State or Federally recognized, or even proven their connection to Jose Guzman past the barest allegation.
The lie of Glen Cove (“Sogorea Te”)
We know that Corrina Gould managed to procure an easement at Glen Cove.
Gould claimed this was a victory because “Native voices were heard.”
But was this a victory?
The actual story of the negotiations, and real struggle happening concurrently with the very visible occupation of Glen Cove is much different than what’s been covered in the news.
What you don’t know is that this easement came at a great cost to the local bands of Wintu, and Patwin tribes. That the “Memorandum of Understanding and Settlement Agreement” at Glen Cove (“Sogorea Te”) would cost tribes $100,000 dollars.
At both Glen Cove and West Berkeley, Corrina Gould claimed that Tribal Consultation had never taken place.
This is absolutely incorrect.
Tribes at both Glen Cove, and West Berkeley accepted the invitation for consultation and scoping at the very beginning of the development process; and had conducted, and concluded business with the respective developers and responsible parties long before a decision was made to issue the permits for construction.
Consider this quote from Kesner Flores, in an East Bay Times Article by Tony Burchyns, May 19, 2011, Legal options examined in Vallejo’s Glen Cove park development dispute :
District officials have been in almost daily contact with Kesner Flores, a member of the Cortina Indian Rancheria band of Patwin Indians. He is acting as an intermediary between the district and three Patwin tribes.
The Colusa, [Cortinas] and Yocha Dehe bands support the project, Flores said, because it would cap, with a foot of soil, vulnerable archaeological resources supposedly belonging to the tribes.
“There is one thing that a tribe does not do — take another tribe’s territory,” said Flores, referring to the protesters, who he considers a “community group” with no tribal authority.
Flores was only quoted once telling us that Glen Cove Park was Patwin land.
No other news coverage mentions the fact that Corrina Gould, and other protestors, are interlopers on another tribe’s territory.
Flores didn’t directly say that Corrina Gould was interfering with other tribes’ business. Or that Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC didn’t belong there. Because, Native Americans largely try to avoid direct confrontation where they can.
(At this time: Sogorea Te Land Trust wasn’t even born yet; but the corporation has no representation from the Native American tribal groups/bands associated with Glen Cove, to this day.)
Ignoring the objections of Kesner Flores–who was the Most Likely Descendant of the Glen Cove Shellmound, and represented 3 different bands of Patwin people–was exactly how not to “come correct“, and truly contrary to the Native American Tribal Protocols, which Corrina Gould tries so hard to champion.
The truth is: Tribal Consultation Occurred…
without Corrina Gould
Neither of these consultations included included the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, INC, nor Corrina Gould, because:
- Glen Cove is Wintu & Patwin land (not Miwok), and, regardless of whether or not Karkin people shared, owned it–or whether or not the area was actually community property–it doesn’t matter, because CVL is from Oakland.
- Kesner Flores was determined to be the Glen Cove Shellmound’s “Most Likely Descendant” by the Native American Heritage Commission.
- West Berkeley was consulted by the one-and-only Andrew Galvan, the Most Likely Descendant of the West Berkeley Shellmound. Galvan is a well-known, direct descendant of Dolores Marine Galvan. He is the docent of Mission Dolores, and directly affiliated with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Glen Cove park was consulted by several Tribal Representatives, including, Kesner Flores, who NAHC determined is the Most Likely Descendant of the Glen Cove Shellmound remains.
- Legally, Corrina Gould has no standing; she’s not Patwin; and CVL is not a Tribal Government, nor the Most Likely Descendant of a shellmound in Vallejo, California.
- Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC has only been allowed to file as an intervenor in ongoing matters in the past; and Corrina Gould’s lack of standing–even as the Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC.–has been laid out clearly by the judges of every court case they’ve ever been involved in.
Corrina Gould’s connection to Muwekma
The present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe is comprised of all of the known surviving American Indian lineages aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay region who trace their ancestry through the Missions Dolores, Santa Clara, and San Jose; and who were also members of the historic Federally Recognized Verona Band of Alameda County.muwekma.org
Why does nothing in the Muwekma literature–including the Department of Interior petitions for Muwekma Federal Re-Recognition, which contain hundreds of pages of ancestry information & expert analysis–ever mention Corrina Gould, or her mother, Joann Tucker?
Every enrolled/disenrolled/or potential Muwekma Ohlone Tribe enrollee can trace their ancestry straight back to their full-blooded ancestor.
That’s how this works. For every tribe.
In the case of Muwekma: this ancestry is readily available. Gould’s mother, at the very least, should appear in the records. But her name does not. None of the records I found contained any concrete link between Corrina Gould and Jose Guzman.
However, I’ve been told that there could be a link. But, the bottom line is, no one has found it. And Corrina Gould has stayed deathly silent on this subject.
The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area has been researched extensively by the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Muwekma tribal members and scholars (, such as Alan Leventhal,) have accomplished so much more of their own research into their history, ancestry, heritage, culture, and traditions, that the link between Corrina Gould and Jose Guzman should be clear and convincing.
That information should be right there. The entire tribal rolls are listed in the Muwekma Petition for Federal Recognition.
I’m not kidding. About any of this.
We, as Native Americans, descendants, have to know who our nearest, full-blooded “Indian Relative” is. We need to be able to prove it to become enrolled in a tribe, or receive a tribal descendant ID card.
Did you know: If Corrina Gould really is related to Andrew Galvan, “seven great-grandmas back”, then she could be as Native American as Elizabeth Warren is. However, if her Great-Great-Grandfather were Jose Guzman, she could be as Indian as I am.
It’s a fallacy to believe something is true unless proven otherwise. How does one prove non-existence? How can you say that you believe in something like miracles, or gods, until someone can prove that they don’t exist? You can’t even prove they exist in the first place.
Believing Corrina Gould’s claims does not make them true.
You can’t believe harder than you think.
You’re not “woke” if you do that. Being woke means thinking critically, and asking questions, especially to authority; working actively to sabotage, destroy, and deconstruct the systems of misogyny and enslavement that we are all caught in.
Truth is not an opinion. Truth is a verifiable fact.
Instantly refusing to ask the question, refusing to entertain the thought, or have the discussion about this subject is really detrimental to the true struggles of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area, for Federal Re-Recognition.
This is the problem with the current assumption that Corrina Gould is a legitimate “Tribal Chairperson”, just because she says she is.
That the Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC is some tribe that we’ve never even heard of, that was here the whole time.
It’s not true.
No one asked why all the officers of the Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC had the same last name. Or which Villages were a part of the Confederation. (How come we never heard from them–the other villages in the Confederation?)
If Sogorea Te Land Trust is trying to return native land to native hands, why is “Muwekma” completely absent from their website? Do they simply intend to grant land to Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC?
Up until now, Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, Inc. was a mutual benefit corporation, which is different than what we think a nonprofit corporation is.
In a true nonprofit, its assets would be dedicated to a charitable purpose, such as to an Indian Tribal Government. This “dedication of assets” should appear as a clause on the organization’s Articles of Incorporation. It does not appear in CVL, or Sogorea Te Land Trust’s articles of incorporation.
So, which tribe(s) are Sogorea Te Land Trust, and Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC associated with?
Because it’s not Muwekma, or Colusa, or Cortina, or Yocha Dehe.
There is a black-out on this subject which needs to stop.
Native American tribes are not corporations.
Beware of corporations which pose as Tribal Governments.
Every tribe must exercise its sovereign powers to administer tribal governance. The struggle of every tribe is for sovereignty. Sovereignty over self, over land use, over water rights, and more.
Even though the IRS uses the term “federally recognized tribe” in their documentation, the “exercise of sovereign power” is the operative phrase.
What is the excersize of sovereign power?
“Rev. Rul. 60-384, 1960-2 C.B. 172, provides that even though a wholly owned state or municipal organization may be separately organized, it is not eligible for IRC 501(c)(3) exemption if it has substantial regulatory or enforcement powers in the public interest. These powers traditionally are referred to as sovereign powers.
The three generally acknowledged sovereign powers are:
- Power to levy and collect tax on its behalf
- Power of eminent domain
- Police power”
Hint: this is probably why there’s a clever distinction to remind you “Shuumi” means gift (a.k.a., “donation”.) Because Land Tax is an example of regulatory/sovereign power.
So, this means: Gould’s purported position as “Tribal Chairperson” of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, INC was only stating her position as CEO, and President of The Board of that corporation.
Even though a Board of Directors is a “council”; a Board of Directors is not a “Tribal Council”.
And there was no way Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC was representative of a “confederation” of villages, because the chief officers, were all principally related to one another.
There was no visible representation from any Ohlone Village, specifically. The former Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC only stated they were in occupied name-of-territory-here; but they never alleged that they were from or a representative of any village, specifically.
Despite the prohibition against nonprofit corporations wielding sovereign power: CVL seemed to exist primarily to fight eminent domain battles in court, using questionable legal theories to back frivolous lawsuits which they had no legitimate standing for; because suing corporations over something you state is “your land” is an exercise of sovereign power.
The recognition of Corporations as “akin”, or equal to, real Native American Tribal Bands, and Tribal Governments is an error.
Without correction, this error will result in Real Tribes losing even more land, rights, and recompense for the terror and genocide they survived; and for which the Federal Government entered into treaties granting tribes–like the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area–a landbase; and lots of other things which the Federal Government doesn’t honor today.
The refusal to cover this issue has created a lot of ignorance.
And the lack of answers to basic questions people have about East Bay Tribal Culture has created even more confusion.
But organizations, like Sogorea Te Land Trust, and the former Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, INC are basically using the ignorance of the general public to divert attention and funds away from the legitimate struggles for Land Back and Federal Re-Recognition of the true descendants of enslaved “Mission Indians” of the San Francisco Bay Area: the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Underneath all of this was the pallor of Corrina Gould’s prior conviction for fraud,
which I found referenced in a civil “Confession of Judgment”, during a summary search of the Alameda County Superior Court Records. The Criminal Case File itself was destroyed, but the Alameda County Superior Court Criminal Records still had something indexed, which included information about Corrina Gould’s conviction, offense, et cetera.
I could make this really long. And try to explain to you in excruciating detail, “Why you shouldn’t give money to someone who’s been convicted of fraud.“
I could tell you about Bernie Madoff, Rachel Dolezal, or Yolanda Saldivar…..
But, honestly, if you got this far down, and you still need another reason to pay attention to the red flags surrounding Corrina Gould….
Save shellmounds, not parking lots.
- “How to Spot a Con Artist“, North American Securities Administrators Association
- “Four surefire ways to spot a con artist—and what to do when you see them“, Scott Con, MSNBC, Jan. 3 2020
- List of Federal and State Recognized Tribes, National Conference of State Legislators
- developer-invokes-new-state-law-force-berkeley-approve-260-unit-fourth-street, Berkeleyside.org
- Ruegg & Ellsworth vs. City of Berkeley , California Appellate Court, via Justia.com
- State Supreme Court Allows Housing Retail…., SFChronicle.com
- Legal Options Examined in Vallejo’s Glen Cove Park Development Dispute, EastBayTimes.com
- Definition of “NAHC”, containing explaination of “Most Likely Descendant”, via LawInsider.com dictionary
- “How to Come Correct“, on sogoreate-landtrust.org
- CEQA flowchart, California Association of Environmental Professionals
- Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area
- The Facts on Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test, FactCheck.org
- Op-Ed: “Political Erasure of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and the Complicity of Silence“, Charlene Nijmeh, Muwekma Chairwoman, via DailyCal.org
- IRS FAQ: Can a Federally Recognized Tribe Qualify as a Charitable Organization Exempt From Taxation Under IRC Section 501(c)3?, IRS.gov
- Reference Guide for Exempt Organizations Closely Affiliated with Indian Tribal Governments, IRS.gov
- The Story of Jack and The Beanstalk – Fairy Tales for Kids, KiddoStories via Youtube.com
- Glen Cove Cultural Easement and Settlement Agreement
- Confederated Villages of the Lisjan, Statement of Information, dated May 10 2021
- Alameda County Superior Court Criminal Index Search Results, Corrina Gould Conviction