untold stories in a whole new light


Check out the film's opening clip here and watch our trailer. You can watch the full 24 minute film on KRCB's National Public Television series Natural Heroes (scroll halfway down their page.)  We are proud to announce that the film was just added to the collection of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive and will be screened there on November 14th!

Educational and home video dvds of the film and online streaming options for public screenings are available for purchase via Documentary Educational Resources (DER)


After decades struggling to protect her ancestors’ burial places, now engulfed by San Francisco’s sprawl, a Native woman from a non-federally recognized Ohlone tribe and her allies occupy a sacred site to prevent its desecration. When this life-altering event fails to stop the development, they vow to follow a new path- to establish the first women-led urban Indigenous land trust. BEYOND RECOGNITION explores the quest to preserve one’s culture and homeland in a society bent on erasing them.


Shattering stereotypes, the film tells the inspiring story of women creating opportunities amid a system that fractures Native communities across the nation. Through cinéma vérité, interviews, and stunning footage of the land, BEYOND RECOGNITION introduces Corrina Gould, Johnella LaRose, and Indian People Organizing for Change as they embark on an incredible journey to transform the way we see cities. 


The film invites viewers to examine their own relationship to place, revealing histories that have been buried by shifting landscapes. Produced in collaboration with PBS affiliate KRCB, BEYOND RECOGNITION points to the intersection of human rights, women’s rights, and environmental protection, spotlighting a California story that has national and worldwide resonance.


BEYOND RECOGNITION premiered on KRCB in November 2014 for Native American Heritage month; it was rebroadcast there in March 2015 for Women's History Month. It is currently airing prime time on public television stations nationally via NETA, First Nations Experience (FNX), and the award-winning series, Natural Heroes. The film was awarded Best Short for the 2015 ​​San Francisco Green Film Festival. It ​debuted at Wild & Scenic Film Festival in January 2015, followed by Cinequest Film Festival, Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, Human Rights Film Festival, Native Spirit Film Festival, Red Nation Film Festival,  American Indian Film Festival, and DC Independent Film Festival. ​Stay tuned for other screenings and broadcast dates in the coming months. Educational and home video dvds of the film are available at Documentary Educational Resources (DER)

For further information on those working to protect sacred places in the San Francisco Bay Area visit: Sogorea Te Land Trust and Indian People Organizing for Change.


Michelle Grace Steinberg

Co-producer: Robyn Bykofsky

Co-editors: Michelle Grace Steinberg and Quinn Costello

Consulting Editor: Vivien Hillgrove

Beyond Recognition features music from Andrew Bird, Agrimonia, 

Sad Bastard Book Club, and T.I.W.A.E.I.S.

Links to organizations doing related related work:

California Indian Environment Alliance

Indian Canyon

The Homefulness Project



East Bay Express: Protecting Ohlone Heritage

East Bay Express’ article that highlights Beyond Recognition’s story of “a Bay Area effort to create the nation’s first women-led urban Native American land trust”.  Read the full article.

Interview from Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2015

Watch an interview with Corrina Gould and Michelle Grace Steinberg speaking with festival reporter, Elisa Parker.

Film Review: Klaus at Gunpoint - The Film Journal #16

"Beyond Recognition is a wonderful documentary on the fight to preserve spaces sacred to Ohlone people. The film made me think and it [has] wonderful production values” Read the full review.