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Martin Rizzo-Martinez: We Are Not Animals

May 29 @ 7:00 pm  |  Bookshop Santa Cruz


Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes Martin Rizzo-Martinez, assistant professor at UC Santa Cruz, for a discussion of We Are Not Animals: Indigenous Politics of Survival, Rebellion, and Reconstitution in Nineteenth-Century California, now available in paperback. By examining historical records and drawing on oral histories and the work of anthropologists, archaeologists, ecologists, and psychologists, We Are Not Animals sets out to answer questions of who the Indigenous people in the Santa Cruz region were and how they survived through the nineteenth century.


About We Are Not Animals

Between 1770 and 1900 the linguistically and culturally diverse Ohlone and Yokuts tribes adapted to and expressed themselves politically and culturally through three distinct colonial encounters with Spain, Mexico, and the United States. In We Are Not Animals Martin Rizzo-Martinez traces tribal, familial, and kinship networks through the missions’ chancery registry records to reveal stories of individuals and families and shows how ethnic and tribal differences and politics shaped strategies of survival within the diverse population that came to live at Mission Santa Cruz.

We Are Not Animals illuminates the stories of Indigenous individuals and families to reveal how Indigenous politics informed each of their choices within a context of immense loss and violent disruption.

Martin Rizzo-Martinez is an Assistant Professor in the Film & Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research focuses on the history of Indigenous resistance and survival in Santa Cruz County during the 19th century. He has worked closely with Bay Area Indigenous communities, like the Amah Mutsun, in his research and collaborative projects. His book has received multiple awards. Among other media projects, he co-produces a podcast entitled Challenging Colonialism. Learn more at

Purchase your own copy of We Are Not Animals and learn more about the event at: Bookshop Santa Cruz – We Are Not Animals

This event is co-sponsored by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz.


May 29
7:00 pm


Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States
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