23 to watch in 2023: Rose Hammock, Indigenous community leader

Rose Hammock serves as a resource for young Indigenous people in Sonoma County.|

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

Name: Rose Hammock

Title or position: Indigenous community leader, educator and activist

On the job since: She took her first step into the world of Indigenous activism during her freshman year at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, where she established and led a Native American club.

Age: 26

Hometown: Santa Rosa

Why Hammock is someone to watch:

Rose Hammock, a Santa Rosa Junior College graduate and tribal member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Mendocino County, is only 26 years old but already plays a large role in supporting local Native American communities.

Hammock, who is of Pomo, Wailaki, Maidu, Mexican and Nicaraguan descent, serves as a cultural resource for young Indigenous people in Sonoma County. She works to address local public health disparities, advises teachers on how to support Indigenous students and educates the community about the traditional Pomo ways of life.

According to a student spotlight on Santa Rosa Junior College’s website, Hammock served as vice president of the SRJC Inter-Tribal Council, an organization she created. While at the junior college, she also helped establish Indigenous People’s Day as an annual celebration.

She also became a language ambassador and educator with Big Picture Learning, a nationwide organization supporting student interests through mentoring and providing equitable opportunities.

In this role, she taught both Native American and non-Native American students across the North Bay, from third grade through high school, about traditional dances, bead work, languages, ceremonies, basket weaving,and other Indigenous cultural traditions.

Hammock is currently the Community Relations Manager for Redbud Resource Group, a nonprofit organization created in 2020, which provides information and resources to the community in an effort to improve public health and education for native people.

In January, she was honored with the North Bay Spirit Award, a joint project of The Press Democrat and Comcast highlighting community volunteers who demonstrate exceptional initiative for a cause.

What others are saying about Hammock:

“The passion that Rose shows for uplifting the Indigenous communities in Sonoma County and beyond is inspirational. Coming from a people who experienced genocide and having their way of life stolen from them, Rose sees the importance of maintaining traditions and passing them on to the youth. She lives this by sharing her knowledge of indigenous history, traditional ceremony and jewelry making with the youth in her family and community,” said Remi Newman, health educator at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa.

Hammock and Newman worked together in 2020 on a project with Sonoma County Artists Propelling Equity to create a mural highlighting powerful women activists in Sonoma County. Hammock’s portrait was featured in the mural.

“Rose has wisdom beyond her years and we are blessed to have her in our community, passing on her knowledge and sharing her kindness,” Newman said.

Notable quote from Hammock in 2022:

“With everything I do, I try to keep an open mind and open heart,” Hammock said in a February Press Democrat story about her efforts. “I hope to always serve my community and my people. I hope to continue learning about my culture and who I am.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include Rose Hammock’s current job title.

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

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