Emergence Magazine

Coming Home to the Cove

A Story of Family, Memory, and Stolen Land

an Emergence Magazine Production

Photo courtesy of Theresa Harlan

Across the United States, Indigenous communities are calling for sweeping revisions to stories commonly told as “history”—stories that, even today, neglect and erase Indigenous peoples and serve as justification for continued ownership of stolen Indigenous lands. This three-part series is the multigenerational story of a Coast Miwok family’s eviction from their ancestral home in Northern California and one woman’s mission to bring the living history of her family back to the land. Throughout this series, Theresa Harlan chronicles the story of her family’s displacement from their homestead on a cove in Tomales Bay and shares her grassroots efforts to involve the wider community in protecting both the history and the future of this place.

As she tells her family’s story, Theresa makes a powerful claim: remembering and retelling inclusive histories has the power to create a more just future. In this series we ask: Who gets to define history? In what ways is it our responsibility to ensure that a shared history is an accurate and just representation of the places we call home?


Adam Loften is a filmmaker and producer of documentary films, virtual reality experiences, and podcasts. His work has been nominated for Emmy and Peabody Awards and featured on PBS, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.


Directed, narrated, & edited by Adam Loften
Produced by Adam Loften & Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Narration written by Adam Loften, Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder, & Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Original music by Mathew Atticus Berger, H. Scott Salinas, & Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Sound mix by Matthew Mikkelson


Episode 1:
Theresa Harlan
Tiger (Theresa’s Husband)
Elizabeth Campigli Harlan (Theresa’s Mom)
Dewey Livingston

Episode 2:
Theresa Harlan
Elizabeth Campigli Harlan
Dewey Livingston
David Carrio (Theresa’s Cousin)

Episode 3:
Theresa Harlan
Arlene Delahoussaye (Theresa’s Cousin)
Whitt Strain
Beverly Saxon Leonard (Theresa’s Sister)
David Arvilla (Theresa’s Cousin)
Dewey Livingston

A Sixty-Six-Year Journey to Tamal-Liwa
Related OP-ED

A Sixty-Six-Year Journey to Tamal-Liwa

by Theresa Harlan Open story

After her Coast Miwok family’s eviction from their ancestral home in Northern California, Theresa Harlan joined her voice with the national movement seeking to restore Indigenous history and presence to the American landscape.

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