Preservation of Chumash Culture from one generation to the next...
Practice of traditonal culture is the preservation, protection, and indigenous soveriegnty for future generations. There is no better way to pass on our cultural heritage to the young ones than to live a life of dignity, respect, understanding, compassion and generosity for self, family, elders, community and the natural world. Chumash youth learn these ways of understanding life through listening to stories from the elders who teach them their language, how to relate to the natural world, seen and unseen, using all their senses while harvesting from the land or ocean, fishing or hunting, participating in ceremony and community gatherings so they'll know all their relations. The elders teach them songs. There are songs that are community songs. Songs that belong to families. Songs that are only sung for special ceremonies. We learn and practice these ways and pray for harmonious internal and external worlds. Our job is to continue to provide opportunities through, programs, education, gatherings, and ceremony for youth and community.
"I don't believe in magic. I believe in the sun and the stars, the warer, the tides, the floods, the owls, the hawks flying, the river running, the wind talking. They're measurements. They tell us how healthy things are. How healthy we are. Because we and they are the same. That's what I believe in."
-- Billy Frank Jr. (March 9, 1931 - May 5, 2014)
Indigenous Hell-Raiser as National Hero: Billy Frank, Jr. Wins Presidential Medal Of Freedom