We Cannot Choose a Life without Fire

  After an early morning drive along a black and gray California Coast Mati Waiya, Chumash Ceremonial Elder, who built his dream of bringing back to life this 8,000 year old Chumash Village takes his first glance at how the fire veratiously consumed parts of the site. “It’s sad.” he says in a solemn and reflective tone.    (All Photo Credits: Tano Cabugos)

After an early morning drive along a black and gray California Coast Mati Waiya, Chumash Ceremonial Elder, who built his dream of bringing back to life this 8,000 year old Chumash Village takes his first glance at how the fire veratiously consumed parts of the site. “It’s sad.” he says in a solemn and reflective tone.

(All Photo Credits: Tano Cabugos)

Wishtoyo Chumash Village was fortunate to have avoided substantial damage during the Woolsey Fire. Our hearts go out to so many in our community who have suffered great losses. As Indigenous Californians watching these catastrophic fires repeatedly ravage our communities, it invokes an additional layer of helplessness and loss. We actually know how to prevent this kind of devastation and protect the diverse modern communities living throughout our homelands, but we are denied the opportunity.

Today’s California is a system dangerously out-of-balance as Indigenous land tending practices have been suppressed for far too long. The impacts of resource extraction, water diversion and misuse, climate change, and inappropriately-placed development have left us living on the brink of ever-impending disaster. This is not a sustainable way to live. We cannot always be in the midst of recovering from one disaster as the next one befalls us. It is important to bring California’s Indigenous people back to the table and reinstate our successful land management practices.

  California wildfires dangerously out of balance    Mati Waiya offers prayers at the site of a burned down ‘ap (chumash dwelling) that he built himself and is used as a classroom for 1000s of students each year. It is one of four onsite. “The stone bowls where just being used to demonstrate oak ecology and uses of acorns for a group of students. We had to evacuate them just the other day. The bowls will crack to the touch and the ‘ap is gone,” he says.

California wildfires dangerously out of balance

Mati Waiya offers prayers at the site of a burned down ‘ap (chumash dwelling) that he built himself and is used as a classroom for 1000s of students each year. It is one of four onsite. “The stone bowls where just being used to demonstrate oak ecology and uses of acorns for a group of students. We had to evacuate them just the other day. The bowls will crack to the touch and the ‘ap is gone,” he says.

Traditional Indigenous landscape management in California has always utilized a sophisticated understanding of fire ecology. Fire is an integral part of the system in which we live. We cannot choose a life without fire, but we can choose healthy, knowledgeable relationships with it. Traditional indigenous lifeways in this region adapted to periodic fire, and like our ecosystems themselves, our cultural practices were also fire dependent and fire resilient.

Fire is a regenerative ecological force. The frequency and severity of fire must be appropriate to each region for the survival of certain plants and animals and the healthy regeneration of others. What we often think of as natural landscapes, are in reality unhealthy, overgrown, suffering ecosystems. The bountiful “untouched” landscapes described by California’s early settler colonists, were actually intricately managed by California’s native people. In contrast to the modern perspective, humans are not a necessarily destructive force in the natural world. In fact, we are a necessary part of a healthy world. Traditional Indigenous practices are unique in that they not only involve managing the world around us, but they also include us managing ourselves within that same world. We must ensure that modern fire management utilizes the best available indigenous and conventional science, rather than being controlled by people whose interests are focused on consumption and expansion.

  “We started the riparian habitat restoration in this creek area when I was just 15 years old,” says Kote Melendez who is now 28 years old and the site Manager of the Village.

“We started the riparian habitat restoration in this creek area when I was just 15 years old,” says Kote Melendez who is now 28 years old and the site Manager of the Village.

DSC00498.JPG

We have known for a very long time that California’s land and water resources have been mismanaged. This is not new news. When I was a little girl living through the drought of the 1970s, my mom explained to me that fire and drought were natural but that the problems that we were living with were not. She told me that California ecosystems depended on healthy fire at regular intervals and that my ancestors used controlled burns to maintain habitat diversity, promote food production, and prevent over-accumulation of fuel. She told me that due to expanding residential development and modern management ideas, fire was being suppressed, water was being rerouted and that we were basically sitting on a powder keg of accumulated dry fuel that would result in out-of-control wildfires that hurt people, animals, and plants. My mom was not a scientist nor was she Native American, but what she said made perfect sense to 7-year-old me. Even back then, these ideas were not unknown or difficult to understand. The irony is that today, as a biologist and a Native woman, I have spent years studying evolutionary biology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and it is still difficult for me to understand how California land management can continue to ignore the plethora of conventional and indigenous science that tells us how to minimize these disasters. Or are we so wrapped up in our obsessions with limitless consumption and domination of the natural world that we can’t change our ways even to save ourselves?

Article Written By: Alicia Cordero, Wishtoyo’s First Nations Program Officer and Educator

Major Steelhead Victory Along the Santa Clara River!

After years of hard work, we have special news to share in what is the biggest legal victory led by Wishtoyo to date:

We have prevailed in our Steelhead Endangered Species Act Case Against United Water Conservation District! The victory is critical for the survival and recovery the Southern California Steelhead, Chumash lifeways and cultural practices, the wellbeing of the Santa Clara River’s communities, and all species in the Santa Clara River watershed. 

As to United’s liability, the court specifically found in a 152-page decision that United violated the federal Endangered Species Act by causing past, ongoing, and future harm to steelhead as a result of the dam’s barrier to fish movement and diversion of water.

   United's 1,200 foot wide and 25 foot tall Vern Freeman Diversion Dam blocking steelhead migration on the Santa Clara River 10.5 miles upstream from the ocean.

United's 1,200 foot wide and 25 foot tall Vern Freeman Diversion Dam blocking steelhead migration on the Santa Clara River 10.5 miles upstream from the ocean.

As to the remedy, after finding that United “dragged its feet” on critical solutions, and that “United has proved itself unable and unwilling to tackle the two key problems repeatedly identified as perpetuating harm to steelhead," Judge Carter issued a Permanent Injunction and Judgment providing that United must:

(1) release sufficient in-stream flows for Steelhead migration on the Santa Clara River,

(2) complete 100% design and engineering of two fish passage alternatives over and through the Dam within 2 years, and

(3) construct the preferred Steelhead passage alternative that meets National Marine Fisheries Service's criteria in 2 years from the agency regulatory approvals.

   Current fish ladder insufficient for Steelhead migration that will be replaced with a Steelhead passage solution through the Dam per Wishtoyo legal victory.

Current fish ladder insufficient for Steelhead migration that will be replaced with a Steelhead passage solution through the Dam per Wishtoyo legal victory.

It was a grueling case that included an 11-day bench trial in December 2017 and January 2018, but an amazing performance by Wishtoyo and our wonderful team of attorneys including Chris Sproul with Environmental Advocates, Jason Weiner and Geneva Thompson of Wishtoyo, Heather Kryczka, John Buse of Center for Biological Diversity, and Fred Evenson was more than worth the effort.

We were also fortunate to work with an outstanding team of experts - the best in their fields - including Sharon Kramer of H.T. Harvey (Steelhead), Chris Hammersmark of cbec eco engineering (Hydrology and Steelhead Passage Engineer), and Mary J. Whitfield of Southern Sierra Research Station (Southwestern Willow Flycatcher). Thanks so much to our amazing co-plaintiffs Center for Biological Diversity for their partnership and much appreciated contribution to this case as well, and all of our incredible funders, supporters, volunteers, and staff that made all this possible, including Kote Melendez, Tevin Schmitt, and Curtis Bradley of Center for Biological Diversity, all three of whom helped with evidence generation and presentation in the case[J1] .

   Steelhead netted by United after being blocked from migrating to its spawning grounds by United's Vern Freeman Dam.

Steelhead netted by United after being blocked from migrating to its spawning grounds by United's Vern Freeman Dam.

Chumash people have a strong cultural interest in the recovery of the Isha’kowoch (Southern California steelhead / glistening salmon), which for more than 10,000 years have played a significant role in sustaining a healthy Santa Clara River ecosystem, physically and spiritually connected to Chumash culture and communities.

“By eliminating physical barriers to steelhead passage, we are not only protecting an endangered species, but we are also overcoming barriers that have interrupted the continuity of our ancestral traditions. Steelhead hold a central and honored place in our culture. Restoring instream flows to the Santa Clara River allows steelhead access to their spawning sites, and also allows restoration of our ancestral connection celebrating the seasonal return of the steelhead through our shared waters,” said Mati Waiya, a ceremonial elder of the Santa Clara River Turtle Clan and executive director of the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation. “Our victory today is important for all First Nations Peoples that place a critical cultural value on steelhead that were once abundant in our coastal watersheds.”

   Steelhead in the Sespe Creek tributary to the Santa Clara River

Steelhead in the Sespe Creek tributary to the Santa Clara River

“The court’s decision affirms a well-known fact amongst fish passage experts, people who are knowledgeable about steelhead in Southern California, and state and federal fisheries agencies: United’s operation of the Vern Freeman Dam is a barrier to the migration of steelhead on the Santa Clara River and has led to decimation of the species in the watershed and beyond,” said Jason Weiner, Senior Counsel for the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation.

“More importantly, the decision brings an end to over 20 years of inaction by United to implement steelhead passage and flow-release solutions at the Dam that are needed for steelhead survival and recovery. Restoring steelhead to the Santa Clara River is now possible and critical not only for the species, but for so many of the River’s communities whose wellbeing is dependent upon their rights to enjoy and benefit from a healthy river system. In addition, the decision continues to allow for the diversion of sufficient water for the maintenance of sustainable agriculture and municipal use in the Santa Clara River watershed and Oxnard Plain.”

The Decision, Judgment/Permanent Injunction, our press release, and newspaper articles can be found at: http://www.wishtoyo.org/558350abe4b0d3ba33cfc6c0/

Global Indigenous Wisdom Summit on Facebook Live

  Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day - Monday October 8th, 2018 - Begins at 9Am -    Facebook Live

Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day - Monday October 8th, 2018 - Begins at 9Am - Facebook Live

Join us for this free one-of-a-kind Facebook Live event featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world for a day of Earth-based wisdom teachings, prayers, and music to support transformation, healing, and social change.


Throughout the day, powerful leaders will help open a deeper understanding about the many challenges Indigenous nations and peoples face, and how we can work together toward a brighter future for humanity, all living things, and Mother Earth.

During this full-day Facebook Live gathering, you will:

  • Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

  • Receive stories and wisdom from Indigenous elders

  • Participate in reverent moments & an opening ceremony

  • Discover how to take action for change

  • View The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code — a compelling documentary film by Sheldon Wolfchild

The day will be hosted by Indigenous speaker Shawna Bluestar (Shawnee, Lenape, Azteca), and will include keepers of wisdom from across the globe. To learn more about the presenters, visit the Global Indigenous Wisdom Summit 2018 website.

Kiyaqʰinalin - Thank you and we hope you'll join us in this special Facebook Live gathering presented by The Shift Network

Save the Date! Wishtoyo's 21st Annual Benefit is November 4th

Join us in celebrating 21 years of Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation - protecting the health and well-being of our communities and all living beings, now and for generations to come.

You are invited to an evening of good food and great company as we come together to celebrate another year of Wishtoyo and the people that make our work possible. Dinner, drinks, entertainment, awards ceremony, and access to our silent auction are all included at Wishtoyo Chumash Village. 

Early Bird tickets are on sale now! Mark your calendars because you won't want to miss this year's event! More details coming soon. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.

Kiyaqʰinalin - Thank you and we hope to see you there!

Save the Date 2018.jpg

Maori Artist Rob Ruha to unveil waiata from SURVIVANCE in multi-cast live stream

TONIGHT, 11/21 @ 10pm PST: 
Join us in supporting Rob Ruha - Maori tribal leader, composer, and musical visionary, and an honored guest at Wishtoyo Chumash Village with the Tuku Iho delegation last month - as he unveils waiata from SURVIVANCE in multi-cast live stream.

Iconic Kiwi artist Rob Ruha will reveal a selection of waiata from SURVIVANCE, his new album with The Witch Dr., in a live studio session streamed across partners tonight at 10pm PST. Link below!

The multi-cast live stream is an online community of host partners, where viewers can watch at 10.00pm. Host partners include Radio New Zealand Music, The Wireless, The Spinoff, Maori Television, The Iwi radio Network, (Tiare FM Tahiti - to be confirmed) and of course Rob Ruha Online Youtube and Facebook live.

Audiences around the world will get a sneak peak of SURVIVANCE, performed live at The Lab in Auckland and produced by Velvet Stone Media, ahead of its official release on Friday, December 1.

Co-hosted by Kirsten Johnstone (RNZ) and Darylene Rogers (Iwi Radio), the 35-minute online broadcast will include the album’s lead single ‘Kalega’, which is currently in Spotify’s NZ viral chart. Watch the video here. There will also be a live Q&A session, which audiences can participate in via Ruha’s official Facebook page.

One of Aotearoa’s foremost producers of powerful kapa haka traditions of song and indigeneity, Ruha launched his solo career in 2014 and gained international recognition for his unique style of music, which became known as ‘haka soul’. He went on to win countless awards, including ‘Best Māori Album’ (Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2014 and 2016), ‘Best Songwriter’, ‘Best Māori Song’, ‘Best Male Solo Artist’ (Waiata Māori Music Awards) and the prestigious APRA Maioha Award in 2014 and 2016 for his waiata ‘Kariri’ and ‘Tiki Tapu.’ This year, Ruha received the honour of being named as one of five Laureate Award recipients in the Arts Foundation Awards.

Now the esteemed artist from New Zealand’s East Coast has embarked on a collaborative project with some of the country’s finest musicians (Darren Mathiassen from Shapeshifter, James Illingworth from Bliss n Eso, Tyna Keelan from The Nok and Johnny Lawrence from Electric Wire Hustle) AKA The Witch Dr.

The results are the stunning 12-track bilingual album SURVIVANCE, which strikes at the very heart of issues faced by Ruha’s Māori nation, from a position of self belief and self reliance.

And in keeping with the album’s message, selected songs will get their first public airing in this Wednesday night’s live session. The broadcast will offer a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into what a studio session with Ruha and The Witch Dr. entails and serves as a way to unify diverse audiences from around the world - as they tune in, at the same time, in cyberspace!

“Our hope is that this collaborative content sharing experience will set a precedent for more future opportunities to share cultural perspectives, together forging the new ‘enlightened’ frontiers of our Aotearoa nation,” says Ruha.

Rob Ruha and The Witch Dr. – SURVIVANCE – released Friday December 1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOnKXcFOMPI

Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation Executive Director Joins The Board of Directors for Center for Biological Diversity

MatiTreeofLife.JPG

"His passion, knowledge and incredible leadership at the intersection of native and environmental issues will be vital for the Center in meeting some of the most important issues of our time.” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center of Biological Diversity. The full press release of the announcement can be found HERE.

California Senate to Unveil Preserve California Environmental Protection Package

 Kevin de León, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate.

Kevin de León, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate.

"California can't afford to go back to the days of unregulated pollution"

Kevin de León, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, unveils environmental protection package to defend our economy and communities. For more information on the steps being taken by The California State Senate: CLICK HERE

Wishtoyo: The Rainbow Bridge

 Mati Waiya, Chumash Ceremonial Elder in full regalia at Nicholas Canyon County Beach in front of Wishtoyo Chumash Village. Photo Credit: Jasmine Swope

Mati Waiya, Chumash Ceremonial Elder in full regalia at Nicholas Canyon County Beach in front of Wishtoyo Chumash Village.
Photo Credit: Jasmine Swope

More and more, public officials are seeking the participation of Native leadership, using long-held traditional knowledge to inform community governance. This past December, Malibu City Council kick started this contemporary practice by asking Chumash Ceremonial Elder Mati Waiya, founder of the local non-profit Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation and cover feature of The Local Malibu's December issue, to conduct the swearing in of City Council Member Rick Mullen. Mullen met Mati Waiya while on the campaign trail, through a mutual Malibu friend who connected the two before Mullen even took office. "I am honored by [Mati Waiya's] Presence at my ceremony and thankful for the blessing he bestowed upon me to guide me as I assume my responsibilities."

At first glance, the image of a Chumash ceremonial elder cleansing the air of Malibu City Hall with magnificent feathers of the California condor might seem an unexpected juxtaposition of past and future, tradition and modernity – but perhaps this fusion of culture and politics should be prioritized in the public sphere. The Chumash people and culture of Humaliwu (also known as Malibu) are an integral and relevant part of the fabric that forms our current-day community. The inclusion of the First Peoples at any official event is becoming a more frequent occurrence as “newer” (non-indigenous) residents increasingly understand the benefit and need for acknowledgement of local indigenous heritage. Inclusivity and respect can only strengthen our community.

 Photo of Mati Waiya and Henry Stern.

Photo of Mati Waiya and Henry Stern.

Mati Waiya was also asked to present a traditional Chumash ceremonial blessing for the swearing in of California State Senator Henry Stern, a young, enthusiastic first-term senator of the 27th District. Newly appointed Senator Stern was flanked on stage by public officials including President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate, Kevin de Leon, and Stern’s predecessor, Fran Pavley, and 26th District Congresswoman Julia Brownley to name a few. An audience notably full of young attendees reflected Stern's commitment to encourage the participation of community youth in the civic engagement. In spite of the political whirlwind in the beginning of the year, the ceremony set an optimistic tone for the event. Mati Waiya’s message imparted the importance of awareness and understanding of the history of the our area’s Indigenous People so that we, as a human family, can bring wisdom from the past and use it as a foundation for a brighter future.

 Photo of Senator Henry Stern swearing-in ceremony.

Photo of Senator Henry Stern swearing-in ceremony.

Later that month, Mati Waiya was again invited to give an inspirational invocation, this time for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting.  “We come together today to hold the hands of the youth, to the birthright of our children to have a healthy world… When we were born into the world, we cried out loud – that is the sound of freedom. So never be quiet.” Mati Waiya’s speech was potent and resonating, leaving both the board and attendees inspired by his thought-provoking message.

 Photo of Luhui Isha, Julia BROWNLEY and Mati Waiya.

Photo of Luhui Isha, Julia BROWNLEY and Mati Waiya.

The complex societal structures of Malibu’s indigenous peoples succeeded for millennia and are intimately connected to place. It is by no coincidence that the values and lessons taught by Native elders resonate with the goals and struggles of our contemporary leadership and the needs of the constituents it serves.

The inclusion of Native elders in modern day local and state politics rightfully acknowledges the relationship between the Native community and their ancestral homelands. It is in the spirit of this message that we as human kind can move forward, together, to create global change. “Let us hold our children’s hands, and those who are not yet born, toward a world without struggle and without hatred.” It is through charting a new path - a rainbow bridge of hope and promise for the youth of tomorrow - that 13,000-year-old practices and traditions that bring  new life and meaning to support our leaders, native and non-native. We share this spirit of social, economic, and environmental justice, protection of our Earth, and human rights for all people into the procedural politics that we have come to expect in 2017 and beyond.

Written by Kote Yakez Melendez
Social Media Coordinator

“WHERE THE SURF SOUNDS LOUDLY” - A THOUGHT PROVOKING INTERVIEW WITH MATI WAIYA

 Photo: The Local Malibu / Nick C.

Photo: The Local Malibu / Nick C.

Submerge yourself into the mind of Chumash Ceremonial Elder and Executive Director of Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation, Mati Waiya, as he translates the visions and hopes of an ancient people who share the same home with the thousands of people living in Humaliwu, or as some call it, Malibu.

In the article by The Local Malibu, Mati Waiya welcomes all to the ancestral home of the Chumash people and explains, “It is good to know history so that you can make sound and healthy decisions for yourself, your family, and community. Decolonizing our thinking helps to free our minds to begin living with the earth again.”

Mati Waiya reminds us that we have a responsibility to protect this precious place we call home, together, as a human family. Acknowledging the past gives us a way to make good decisions for the future…

Read the full interview HERE

Warm Holiday Greetings from Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation and Village

Endless Gratitude and Appreciation to All the Good People, the Warriors who continue to inspire us all to take action and who are a part of our Family Bands, Clans, Nations, our Team, Colleagues, and Supporters, near and far! We Wish you All the Warmest Holiday Season and hope we can all remember that there are so many in the world, both foreign and domestic, who will not have the comfort of warmth during freezing temperatures, race wars, military war zones, genocide in its many forms. Our Prayers for Standing Rock Sioux and the "Standing Rocks" that exist all over the world; Alaska, Canada, those in Syria, the Philipines, those in Mexico...Collectively are so needed! Prayer accompanied by Direct Action is so important in using our spheres of influences especially as this new US administration will have an impact on our lives and on the very life of our Mother Earth. WE ALL HAVE SO MUCH WORK TO DO!!! Looking forward to the continued work ahead into 2017! 

#Waterislife #NODAPL #DefundDapl #Keepitintheground
#standwithstandingrock #sacredstonecamp #wishtoyochumashfoundation #ChiaCafeCollective #SYBandofChumashIndians #ChuamshMaritimeAssociation # CoastalBandChumash #SantaClaraRiverTurtleClan #BarbarenoChumashCouncil #SouthernOwlClan #BlackbirdClan #LANativeAmericanCommission #HahamongnaNursery #SacredPlacesInstitute #Anahuacalmecac #Tongva #Chumash #Acjachemen #Tataviam #Mexica #CaliforniaNativeNations #FirstNationsEcologicalConservationAlliance #SoCal350 #LAAllianceforStandingRock
#WaterWarriors #SoCalAim #SGA #LDF #SGF #CBD #VCK #CCKA #WKA  and many many more...

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II Meets with LA Area Native American Leaders/Native Led Organizations

  Photo Credit: Depart Foundation   On December 15, 2016, North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux Chairman, Dave Archambault II, met with Los Angeles areas Native American Leaders, Elders and Native led nonprofits for a welcome ceremony and private meeting hosted by the Depart Foundation ( https://www.facebook.com/depart.foundation/ ) in West Hollywood. The private meeting commenced with Mati Waiya (Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation Founder and Ceremonial Elder) placing a circle of tobacco with an abalone shell and sage bundles in the center of a circle to ground all participants in ceremony and a prayer given by Tongva Elder, Julia Bogany. All in attendance welcomed the Chairman with traditional and other gifts and words expressing solidarity and gratitude for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's leadership in providing the example of protesting in peace and prayer to protect their traditional land and water from the Dakota Access Pipeline in the face of a militarized police force.  http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/11/22/502068751/the-standing-rock-resistance-is-unprecedented-it-s-also-centuries-old . A discussion regarding the fact that "Standing Rock is Everywhere" layed the groundwork to speak about  local "standing rock" issues and a comparission of different laws used to help protect Native American cultural resources, water, sacred sites, and treaty rights and the complexity of working with Federal Agencies. Chairman Archambault expressed that he was very grateful for the overwhelming support and would be happy to reciprocate support in local efforts. The two hour meeting ended with a prayer given by Tongva Elder, Gloria Arellanes.  The Chairman went on to prepare for a first time public conversation in Los Angeles on a speakers panel with Robert Kennedy, Jr., Jane Fonda, Bruce Kapson, moderator Jon Christensen and special guest speaker, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard.The panel spoke to the current status of legal and on the ground efforts being made to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being completed and the fact that, even with, the December 5th announcement that the Army Corp of Engineers would not permit the Energy Transfer Partners to proceed with the Dakota Access Pipeline, the battle was not over. The Chairman had previously announced, "I know this is a victory for this one DAPL battle, but we have not won the DAPL war. There will be more battles ahead and we will contine to strategize and win. The camp has brought us this far -- now it is time we pivot to the next phase of this struggle. That will be lead on different fronts like in court, with the new Administration, with Congress, and with investors." ( standingrock.org  and  sacredstonecamp.org ).   The Chairman shared how unexpected it was that the "camp" would grow to include literally hundreds of Tribes, and thousands of people; Native and Non-Native Folks, Environmentalist, Celebrity Activists, Veterans, supporters from all over the world, young and old. This movement is a profoundly important example and reminder of, as LaDonna says, "learning to live with the Earth again." Chairman Archambault, shared, that he didn't want people to come here (the camp) to die. We want our young warriors to live. To be good fathers, parents.  Robert Kennedy, Jr. untangled the legal issues and put it into plain terms for all to understand. Jane Fonda strongly encouraged people to  divest from the financial institutions that are backing the DAPL project ( defunddapl.org ). She's currently organizing to do just that. For her Birthday on December 21st - the Day of the Winter Solstice Jane will remove her money from a LA area Wells Fargo Bank in efforts to encourage others to follow suit.    To Donate to the NODAPL effort directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Go To:   http://standwithstandingrock.net/donate/   # defunddapl #StandingRockisEverywhere #DepartFoundation # wishtoyochumashfoundation #waterislife  #Tongva #Tataviam #Chumash #acjachemen #Lanativeamericancommission #sacredplacesinstitute #anauacalmecac #metabolicstudio #vck #ccka #wka #LDF #SGA    Special Thanks to the generous host  Depart Foundation and the Tongva Elders of Los Angeles for opening and closing these two events with prayer.

Photo Credit: Depart Foundation

On December 15, 2016, North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux Chairman, Dave Archambault II, met with Los Angeles areas Native American Leaders, Elders and Native led nonprofits for a welcome ceremony and private meeting hosted by the Depart Foundation (https://www.facebook.com/depart.foundation/) in West Hollywood. The private meeting commenced with Mati Waiya (Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation Founder and Ceremonial Elder) placing a circle of tobacco with an abalone shell and sage bundles in the center of a circle to ground all participants in ceremony and a prayer given by Tongva Elder, Julia Bogany. All in attendance welcomed the Chairman with traditional and other gifts and words expressing solidarity and gratitude for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's leadership in providing the example of protesting in peace and prayer to protect their traditional land and water from the Dakota Access Pipeline in the face of a militarized police force. http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/11/22/502068751/the-standing-rock-resistance-is-unprecedented-it-s-also-centuries-old. A discussion regarding the fact that "Standing Rock is Everywhere" layed the groundwork to speak about  local "standing rock" issues and a comparission of different laws used to help protect Native American cultural resources, water, sacred sites, and treaty rights and the complexity of working with Federal Agencies. Chairman Archambault expressed that he was very grateful for the overwhelming support and would be happy to reciprocate support in local efforts. The two hour meeting ended with a prayer given by Tongva Elder, Gloria Arellanes.

The Chairman went on to prepare for a first time public conversation in Los Angeles on a speakers panel with Robert Kennedy, Jr., Jane Fonda, Bruce Kapson, moderator Jon Christensen and special guest speaker, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard.The panel spoke to the current status of legal and on the ground efforts being made to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being completed and the fact that, even with, the December 5th announcement that the Army Corp of Engineers would not permit the Energy Transfer Partners to proceed with the Dakota Access Pipeline, the battle was not over. The Chairman had previously announced, "I know this is a victory for this one DAPL battle, but we have not won the DAPL war. There will be more battles ahead and we will contine to strategize and win. The camp has brought us this far -- now it is time we pivot to the next phase of this struggle. That will be lead on different fronts like in court, with the new Administration, with Congress, and with investors." (standingrock.org and sacredstonecamp.org). 

The Chairman shared how unexpected it was that the "camp" would grow to include literally hundreds of Tribes, and thousands of people; Native and Non-Native Folks, Environmentalist, Celebrity Activists, Veterans, supporters from all over the world, young and old. This movement is a profoundly important example and reminder of, as LaDonna says, "learning to live with the Earth again." Chairman Archambault, shared, that he didn't want people to come here (the camp) to die. We want our young warriors to live. To be good fathers, parents.  Robert Kennedy, Jr. untangled the legal issues and put it into plain terms for all to understand. Jane Fonda strongly encouraged people to  divest from the financial institutions that are backing the DAPL project (defunddapl.org). She's currently organizing to do just that. For her Birthday on December 21st - the Day of the Winter Solstice Jane will remove her money from a LA area Wells Fargo Bank in efforts to encourage others to follow suit. 

To Donate to the NODAPL effort directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Go To: http://standwithstandingrock.net/donate/

# defunddapl #StandingRockisEverywhere #DepartFoundation # wishtoyochumashfoundation #waterislife  #Tongva #Tataviam #Chumash #acjachemen #Lanativeamericancommission #sacredplacesinstitute #anauacalmecac #metabolicstudio #vck #ccka #wka #LDF #SGA  

Special Thanks to the generous host  Depart Foundation and the Tongva Elders of Los Angeles for opening and closing these two events with prayer.

He'l'o'kal Antikich - Water is Life!!

Human Rights Day - Stand Up For Someone's Rights!

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's rights!

Wishtoyo Chumash Village will host a community gathering to share ceremony, conversation, activities and action!

December 10, 2016      10 a.m. 4 p.m. 

Free Family/Community Event

Wishtoyo Chumash Village

33904 Pacific Coast Highway

Things to Know/Bring

  • Tend to Village protocols that are listed on site, bring offering tobacco.

  • Bring: water, camp chair, dress warm, water, sack lunch

  • Contemplate what Human Rights means to you, your family and community; to the World.

  • Be ready to engage in a circular conversation on this topic and what actions you can personally and collectively make to “Stand up for someone’s rights today!” – Standing Rock Example

  • Activities: Conversation, Art, Yoga, Collective Action,  Sunset Ceremony

For More Information call: Luhui at 805.729.7692

Email: luhuiisha@wishtoyo.org

MUST RSVP

Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Steven's Climate Change Documentary Premieres October 30th

Don’t miss Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Steven’s Before the Flood, a documentary that takes people on a journey around the world to explore the causes and effects of climate change and lays out the case for urgent action and a rapid transition off of fossil fuels. Before the Flood airs on National Geographic Channel on 10/30 at 9/8c on October 30th but you can also stream it for free on other online platforms including Facebook and Hulu.

Wishtoyo staff was given the opportunity to screen Before the Flood before its premiere. We were so moved and motivated by the urgent truths it conveys and we hope you will be too. It is a great tool to share with people of all backgrounds, from scientists to families to climate deniers. Our collective actions today will determine the future health of our children and our planet.

Watch the trailer HERE.

Ceremonial Gathering and Exchange with Ainu Representatives of Hokkaido, Japan

Beautiful Ceremonial Exchange and Gathering at Wishtoyo Chumash Village with Ainu Representatives. The Ainu are the Indigenous People of Hokkaido Japan.

We experienced a powerful exchange of tradition, culture, gifts and conversation with Ainu repesentatives, Mr. Shimuizu, President of Kotan-No-Ka, and Mr. Hashimoto. Our women sang the Ainu guests into the ceremonial gathering area called "sil'i'yik" as Mati Waiya cleansed them with our sacred sage.

We learned that we have much in common through traditional practice and in the protection of our Indignenous knowledge, sacred sites, repatriation of our ancestors, and a healthy future of cultural resources and healthy environment for future generations. 

Special thanks to Professor Ann-elise Lewallen, Author of "The Fabric of Indigeneity: Ainu Identity, Gender, and Settler Colonialism in Japan," for her extraordinary skill and grace as interpreter, to Wishtoyo's First Nations Officer, Alicia Corder and Bob Morris of Paradise Cove Cafe who provided abundant and decadent Paella for the occassion. 

Wishtoyo to Attend City of Los Angeles Press Conference this Friday

September 30, 2016 - The City of Los Angeles will be gathering for a press conference at City Hall to discuss issues regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In attendance will be representatives from the Tongva, Tataviam, Inca and Anahuacalmec communities; various elected officials; and celebrities who will speak on the issue.

CLICK HERE for full Press Release

Honor the Ocean: A Celebration of LA's Indigenous Maritime Peoples and MPAs

The Los Angeles Marine Protected Area Collaborative invites you to celebrate Los Angeles’ underwater parks. California’s MPAs preserve our stunning marine ecosystems for future generations.

The event begins with a ceremonial blessing from the Chumash community, followed by the rare opportunity to see a tomol, the Chumash redwood planked and sewn canoe, the “Xax A’lul-koy” (Great Dolphin) at the beach, and guests can enjoy storytelling by Chumash elders. 

L.A. County lifeguards will be on hand to provide information on ocean safety and Malibu Makos will be offering free surf lessons. L.A. Waterkeeper will have their boat offshore, crewed by students from the Sherman Indian School, after conducting an MPA Watch Boat-Based Survey.

Our collaborative partners will provide marine education and fun activities. Come and learn about:

  • Marine Protected Area science and monitoring and science

  • Chumash history, culture, stories, traditions and maritime education

  • Coastal volunteer opportunities and citizen science

  • Marine biology and touch pools

  • Watershed education

  • Free surf lessons by Malibu Makos

 

2016 Coastal Cleanup Day - Sept. 17th, 9am-12pm @ Mugu Rock Beach

Join Wishtoyo Foundation and its Ventura Coastkeeper program at Mugu Rock Beach for the California Coastal Commission’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day this Saturday, September 17th, at 9:00am. You can help create safer and healthier beaches for our communities and the wildlife we share them with. Please see our flyer or Facebook event for more details. Hope to see you there! (RSVP not necessary)

CLICK HERE for flyer
CLICK HERE for Facebook event page
CLICK HERE for Coastal Commission website & other Cleanup locations

Contact: rchung@wishtoyo.org