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Do the Work: Indigenous Communities

Do the Work: Indigenous Communities Resources

Thank you for joining us on Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties all-day field trip to learn more about Indigenous communities in San Diego on Tuesday, October 11th. Please utilize the included resources to get the most out of the day.


The history, connection to place, and breadth of culture amongst indigenous communities in San Diego County is deep and intricate. There is much we can learn to better understand the role philanthropy can play in supporting the self-determination and sovereignty of first nations.

The day will provide a glimpse into the realities of tribal members’ lived experiences and the goals and visions of their respective nations. We will explore various topics during the day, including the key role of food and food justice, its impacts on identity, health, wellness, culture, and much more.

In partnership with Coastal Roots Farm, we will begin the day with an overview of the role of regenerative agriculture within the food system and take participants through a tour of two truly unique and contrasting tribal communities.


Learning Goals
  • A two-way learning exchange between Indigenous communities in San Diego and funders with opportunities to build and connect.
  • Greater familiarity with the history, current projects, and needs and opportunities for support with the Indigenous communities of San Diego.
  • Tools and lessons to address social equity for Indigenous communities.
  • Opportunities for greater collaboration/synergy with public and private resources.
  • Hands-on experience in the practice, culture, structures, and leadership principles within trust-based philanthropy.



Click here to access full the agenda.

Resources to get a better understanding of the context of Indigenous Communities in San Diego.


Bird Singers and Land Acknowledgement

San Diego's First People - Kumeyaay Native Americans

2021 Catalyst Annual Conference: Javier Guerrero & Lorraine Orosco

As you go through the day, we have some recommendations for things you should be asking yourselves, your peers, and the community partners you meet.


BEFORE THE TRIP: Self-reflection
  • What is the commitment I hold that brought me into this space?
  • What can we create together that will enhance our capacity to make a difference in how I collaborate with Indigenous communities in San Diego?
  • What opportunities do I hold for collaboration?
  • What would someone who had a very different set of beliefs than me do or say about the situations you are presented with today?
  • What could happen that would enable me to feel fully engaged and energized in these situations?
  • What promises am I willing to make that constitutes a risk or major shift for me?


DURING THE TRIP: Questions for community partners
  • What’s important to you about the work you do, and why do you care?
  • What opportunities do you see in the work you do?
  • What challenges come your way, and how do you meet them?
  • What do you know so far or still need to learn about this situation?
  • What are the dilemmas and/or opportunities in this situation?
  • What assumptions do we need to test or challenge in thinking about this situation?
  • How can we work collaboratively, and how can I best support the work you do?
  • What would it take to create change on this issue?
  • What is possible here, and who cares about it?
  • What needs our immediate attention going forward?
  • What seed might we plant together today that could make the most difference for the future of your situation?


AFTER THE TRIP: Reflection with yourself & peers
  • What’s taking shape here: what are we hearing underneath the variety of opinions being expressed? What is at the center of our listening?
  • What was your major learning or insight?
  • What emerged that is new for you, and what connections did you make that didn’t exist before?
  • What did you hear that had real meaning for you?
  • What surprised, puzzled, or challenged you?
  • What questions emerged that you didn’t have before?
  • What is the next level of thinking we need to address?
  • If there was one thing that wasn’t said but is needed in order to reach a deeper level of understanding and clarity, what would that be?
  • If our success was completely guaranteed, what bold steps would we take moving forward?
  • How can we support each other in taking next steps and what unique contribution can we each make?
  • What conversation, if begun today, could ripple out in a way that created new possibilities for the future?

Thank you so much for joining us on our field trip to learn more about Indigenous communities. This trip is the latest in our Do the Work series, which provides immersive, experiential learning programs based on the five themes we explored in our 2021 annual conference, All In.


Your feedback is incredibly valuable as we continue to evolve this series. Please complete the short, five-minute survey below to share your feedback. If you have any questions or further insights, please reach out to Zoe Luiz ([email protected]).

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