The Yelamu of the Ramaytush Ohlone are the people whose unceded territory San Francisco now occupies.

We find it significant to note that our studio is located in the Mission District, a neighborhood whose name commemorates the institution (Mission Dolores) that spearheaded the systemic and intentional genocide of Ramaytush Ohlone peoples across the Bay Area. While the federal government still denies Ohlone tribes legal recognition, The Office of Ordinary Things is adjacent to the American Indian Cultural District, which the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recognized in 2020.

While we strive to increase awareness and catalyze change within the design profession, indigenous people around the world strive continuously to protect key ecosystems and agency over their ways of life. Their traditions and knowledge serve as foundations and inspiration for sustainable practices and innovations across industries, often without credit. Indigenous people are regulary killed on the frontlines of climate activism. We recognize them as the original and rightful stewards of this land, and as leaders and collaborators in the vast fight against the climate crisis. We also recognize the distinct design lineage and visual culture of indigenous peoples that the contemporary, largely European- and Modernist-informed design world has systemically delegitimized and marginalized.

Land acknowledgments are not replacements for the advocacy, rights, safety, sovereignty, or financial resources indigenous groups need and deserve, and does not absolve our studio of its context within larger legacies of oppression and colonialism. We struggle with what to say, how to say it, and what actions constitute effective reparations. Accountability is an ongoing process that must continue beyond this acknowledgement. Ultimately, despite the shortcomings of a simple statement, we feel it is still important to specifically name the people whose land our business stands on: the Yelamu Ohlone.

Beyond Land Acknowledgments

Land Acknowledgments are only the first step of accountability, allyship, and reparation. The following are a few suggestions for how to deepen support in meaningful ways:

  1. Financial support (donations, land taxes, mutual aid)

  2. Familiarize yourself with the indigenous groups and movements in the area you live and the place(s) you are from (if you still feel a connection to those lands)

  3. Support local and global indigenous movements by signing petitions, calling/writing to representatives, spreading the word in whatever way is resonant and impactful for you

  4. Educate yourself on both the history of indigenous people and their present day celebrations and struggles

  5. Volunteer your time and skills to indigenous organizations in your area

  6. Use native-written resources to guide decisions (our resource list below is a starting point)

The Office of Ordinary Things pays an annual Yunakin Land Tax to The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone. We use the Sogorea Te’ Shuumi Land Tax Calculator.

We encourage others to reflect and then offer whatever time, space, money, or other resources feel appropriate and sustainable for them as individuals and organizations.


  1. So You Want to Do a Land Acknowledgment?
    by Sogorea Te’ Land Trust

  2. Sogorea Te’ Resources

  3. A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment
    by Native Governance Center

  4. Beyond Land Acknowledgment
    by Native Governance Center

  5. The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone
    (San Francisco Peninsula)

  6. Confederated Villages of Lisjan
    (East Bay)

  7. Coast Miwok Tribal Council of Marin 

  8. Decolonizing Design by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall “asks how modernist design has encompassed and advanced the harmful project of colonization—then shows how design might address these harms by recentering its theory and practice in global Indigenous cultures and histories.” (MIT Press)

  9. Type Drives Culture conference series by Type Directors Club. The 2022 Event Ezhishin celebrated North American indigenous typography.

The Office of
Ordinary Things