Santa Barbara Students of Cleveland Elementary School Studying Endangered Plant Species

Students from Cleveland Elementary School studying the phenology of the San Clemente Island bush mallow (Malacothamnus clementinus), a rare species endemic to San Clemente Island that was put on the federally endangered species list in 1977 when it was nearing extinction due to feral goats on San Clemente Island. Since the U.S. Navy removed the goats from the island in the 1990s, this plant species is making a significant recovery. During Wishtoyo's Native Plant Phenology Citizen Science program, these third grade students learn the importance of paying attention to the appearance of Native Plants through the seasons, developing a relationship with them, and learn what their status is. They learn of efforts being made to bring back healthy populations of these species and others through participating in Native Plant Restoration projects and citizen science projects like the one at Wishtoyo Chumash Village. They are encouraged to think about starting a project at their own school, even at home! Great group of student citizen scientists. Special thanks to Nicholas Hummingbird for planting this beauty a few years ago and to the student's teacher, Ms. Sue Nakao!

Community Spring Equinox Celebration & Kokopelli Spirit Journey Commencement

Wishtoyo Chumash Village is honored to host the commencement of the Kokopelli Spirit Journey during its Annual Spring Equinox Celebration and Ceremony, March 20, 2016. 

The Kokopelli Spirit Journey's mission is to raise awareness regarding Indigenous cultures in Southern California and to help preserve the Blythe Giant Geoglyphs! To follow the journey go to: kokopellispiritjourney  

Women's Winter Water Elements Gathering

February 18 - 21 us women, Native and Non-Native alike, gathered in prayer, meditation and ceremony to deepen our relationship with the element of Water and to focus on the ways in which to expand our relationship and understanding with the waters so as to take better care it, of ourselves, our families, our communities and the world. On the last of the four days together, we experienced a re-birthing into the mother ocean! Truly amazing leadership by our Elder Women: Tule River Elder, Marcia H. Estrada, Mexica Elder, Tiahuimaquilli (Maria Miranda) and Mexica Elder, Zitla Papahki (Trudy Robles), Deborah Hopkins, Chumash and Luhui Isha, Chumash and Mexica, who hosted the ceremony at Wishtoyo Chumash Village.

The much needed rain that poured down through the night last night was a beautiful blessing in preparing for our Beloved Chumash Elder, Angela Melendez, who's memorial will be held at Wishtoyo Chumash Village at 1:00 p.m. today. Thank you Auntie Angela for the Blessing of the Rain!


Wishtoyo's Inter-Tribal Cultural and Marine Science Summer Field Study 2016!

Wishtoyo's Inter-Tribal Cultural & Marine Science Summer Field Study in Partnership with Pitzer Native American Youth to College Program. Read More...

Application for Summer 2016 must go through

Program Dates

  • July 22nd – August 5th, 2016 – Summer Program (9th, 10th, 11th grades)
    • July 22nd, 2016 – Orientation @ Wishtoyo Chumash Village
    • July 22nd – July 29th, 2016 –  Wishtoyo Chumash Village Stay
    • July 29th – August 5th – Pitzer College
    • Sunday, August 5th, 2016 – Graduation @ Pitzer College
  • Application Deadline                                                Friday, April 29th, 2016 at 5PM
  • Notification of Decision                                           Friday, May 13th, 2016 at 5PM

If you have any questions regarding the applications or anything else, please contact Pitzer Program Director Scott Scoggins at 909.706.5948 or or Wishtoyo Cultural Resources & Education Director, Luhui Isha at 805.729.7692 or

Wishtoyo's Chumash Women's Elders Council Chairwoman, Georgiana Sanchez, presenting at a poetry reading at the San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians Gathering Hall at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center

Georgiana is such an amazing storyteller, poet, writer, and singer! Her talent is a real gift to the community. Anytime she is presenting at a venue, gathering or just sharing with family, she just draws you into an inspirational journey!! -- Luhui Isha

Partnering with BeeCassoLive bringing much needed honey bees to Wishtoyo Village!

Steve Downs and Kate Garrison of BeeCassoLive ( in their protective gear while removing Africanized agressive bees from the Village and replacing them with honey bees!! With our good fortune we've been able to taste the sweet honey these bees have produced and it is very mild and yummy. With additional good fortune our newest staff member, Rachel Chung, who is our Education & Development Associate is also a "Bee Keeper!!" How about that!

Eighty High School Students from Notre Dame Academy of West LA inspired to learn the history and culture of our Chumash people.

What a wonderful group of students to engage with! They are so humble and intelligent. Their questions and comments demonstrated their eagerness to learn of our historical past and of the fact that our culture  is alive and evolving in modern times. It was so beautiful to hear them sing with us. Many angelic voices!!

Mati Waiya visits Coastal Salish Traditional Canoe Maker and Master Carver, Charles Elliot, on the island of Victoria, Canada.


Above photo is of the Santa Clara River, an 83 mile long river beginning in the mouintains of Northern Los Angeles, flowing down into the the Oxnard Plain and eventually into the Santa Clara River Estuary which empties into the Santa Barbara Channel. This area was home to the Chumash and Tatavian people for thousands of years and recieved the name Utom or Phantom river because of how it can so quickly rise and wash out anything in its way! Utom is still revered in ceremony by the Chumash as they believe that it has a living spirit of its own and is the home of many endnagered animal and plant species that are key to the health of the river's ecological and spiritual wellbeing. The Chumash still harvest, perform ceremony, protect and interact with the river and her inhabitants today.

Students Participate in Wishtoyo's Cultural and Environmental Programs.