Living Language Revitalization Project

There are 107 Indian tribes in the state of California, of these, 50 are still active in possessing fluent native language speakers. Even languages with many speakers are losing chances of maintaining these statistics.

After decades of social change and attempts by authorities to eradicate native language use, native California languages are rarely spoken at home, so children do not learn from them. Most languages are spoken only by a few elders. Some languages have only one fluent speaker left, and for many, there are none. The Chumash people have eight distinct languages, with an approximated population of about 5,000 spread throughout the territories. There is not one fluent speaker of any of the eight languages. There is a handful of novice speakers that represent three languages with many eager to learn. Many wish to speak their native language but are unable to learn because published works designed to teach the languages don't exist.. Wishtoyo is proud to sponsor, along with Liz Dominguez and Dr. Richard Applegate, the Chumash Living Language Revitalization Project. The mission of this project is to provide published materials that will afford anyone with the desire to learn, the opportunity to study the languages that were potentially lost and will greatly increase chances of culture survival.

Onok'ok Qilikutayiwit (Liz Dominguez) and Dr. Richard Applegate with Volume One.

The outcome of this project will pave the way for future generations to overcome linguistic, spiritual and cultural barriers. It will enable the Chumash people to continue up the road of self- reliance, tribal awareness and self determination in hopes of preserving an endowment of a living culture.

Today there is a major struggle for native peoples, with the world moving ever so fast. With, the onset of the booming gaming industry, perpetual embarkment of other cultures, it is becoming even more of an urgent need to reestablish the culture as a whole. We need to resuscitate a rapidly dying culture, which in turn leads the future generations onto a knowledgeable sense of identity, which detours from such problems as, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, child/elder abuse-neglect and health problems.

If you are interested in supporting this meaningful effort with donations or volunteering your time, contact Wishtoyo at (805) 778-1526. We will be happy to connect you with the key people involved.

Wishtoyo Board of Directors



(L-R, Mati Waiya, Charlie Cooke, Terry Tamminen, Dr. Richard Applegate, Onok'ok Qilikutayiwit, Suzanne Wash and Pam Darty) present a check in support of the Language Revitalization Project at the Satwiwa Culture Center in February. This project is one of Wishtoyo's primary goals. It is our hope to see it through it's completion. For more information, visit our web site at

What's The Plan?...Where are we Now?

Living Language Project: STATUS: Volume 1 with 16 chapters has been completed. This project has been well received and generated a significant response from native and non-native people.

On-line Chumash Virtual Museum: STATUS: Board members have visited various museums and gained more insight towards the ultimate goal.

Chumash Demonstration Village and Cultural Center: STATUS: Wishtoyo is still in the process of seeking land through donations. There has been some interest from local land conservancy agencies.

Wishtoyo Internet Web Page: STATUS: Our web page is near completion we are excited to say. Josh & Cecilia Barinstein of Eclectic Multimedia have done an excellent job in designing a web site that is not only representative of what Wishtoyo is all about, but it is informative and educational! Visit our web site at

Children's Educational Manuals/Video: STATUS: We were lucky to find a creative and extremely talented illustrator, Michael K. Ward, who has agreed to work with us on this goal. He will be working with Wishtoyo on future projects that require his skills...we are happy to have him on our team!

Environmental Protection: STATUS: Wishtoyo has donated their support to various environmental agencies. Just recently, we attended a function at Encino Hills where 1,518 acres of land, Westridge Canyon Back Wilderness Park, was dedicated for open space. Mati Waiya performed a blessing of the land which kicked off the festivities.

Educational Programs: STATUS: Wishtoyo has continued to accept invitations to visit local and remote schools and universities educating students and teachers about the culture and importance of the environment.


12 month calendar created by UCLA Elementary School Room 10 students and teacher Susan DeBlasio as a fund raising tool for Wishtoyo.
Kids Can Make A Difference

Wishtoyo would like to thank UCLA Elementary school students from Room 10 for their wonderful and creative donation. The money they earned selling these calendars they created, raised $350.00 which was donated to Wishtoyo organization to help us continue to educate people on traditional Chumash cultural values and practices and foster environmental awareness.

Michael K. Ward... Michael is an illustrator-artist, lecturer and historian. Michael works in a wide variety of media. His versatility in style and subject matter have won him many prestigious commissions and awards. Michael was adopted by 2 Chumash councils and the late Chumash Elder Vincent Tumamait in 1984. Michael's classes on the history and culture of the Chumash have earned him much recognition. He is known for his detailed, accurate depictions of historical and natural history subjects.

tomol - Chumash word for boat.


Mark Your Calendar
Peace and Dignity Journey


This event is celebrated every four years. Runners from different nations throughout the country carry a prayer staph symbolizing peace and dignity for all. They run from one destination to another in unity with the natives from the various territories. In July 1996, the run arrived in Chumash land. Wishtoyo will be honored to host this event in the year 2000. We are gearing up to accommodate the runners in any way that we can. They will be coming from Alaska heading towards the Temple of the Sun Pyramids in Mexico meeting other runners that began their journey in Argentina.

Look forward to a big celebration in the middle of the year 2000 that will begin early in the morning with a sunrise ceremony and end the following morning, it will include Chumash dancers from all over the area, bear dancers, food, singing and ceremonial fire and prayer in honor of this prestigious event. Everyone is welcome. We will keep you informed on our web site as well as future newsletters. Get in shape and be ready to RUN!


The Sixth Annual Intertribal Gathering
Saturday & Sunday, June 12 and 13, 1999
Starting time: 10:00am
The Rockwell Recreation Center
8500 Fallbrook Ave., Westhills, San Fernando

Hosted by the California Chumash people, this gathering welcomes all tribes. There will be arts and crafts, food booths, singers, dancers and the Blue Stone Singers as host drums. Admission is FREE and parking is open to the public. For more information, call (818) 364-1933.
California Indian Storyteller's Gathering at Satwiwa Cultural Center
Saturday & Sunday, October 23 and 24, 1999
Satwiwa Cultural Center
4126 Potrero Road, Newbury Park, CA

Stories about the sun and moon and stars; about how the People got fire; about the animals; stories about birth and death. Stories mirror our world at the same time they are like rays of sunlight. Through song and dance the many presenters will share their stories. Satwiwa is proud to host this gathering once again. For more information call the cultural center at (805) 375-1930.
Annual American Indian Celebration on Piute Butte
Saturday & Sunday, September 18 and 19, 1999
10:00am to 5:00pm
Antelope Valley Indian Museum
Lake Los Angeles on Ave. M, Antelope Valley, CA

Come and enjoy dancers, storytellers, artisans, food booths, arts and crafts and beadwork. This event also features a children's hands on area, flute players and information booths. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $1.00 for children 6-17 years old (under 6 are FREE). Visit the historical Antelope Valley Indian Museum which is unique in it's structure and contents. For more information, call (805) 946-3055.
14th Annual Inter-Tribal Pow Wow
Saturday, April 17, 1999
11:00am to 10:00pm
Sherman Indian High School
9010 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA

The Cultural Awareness Committee Club (CACC), a student club on campus, invites the public to this event. There will be on-site educational displays and storytelling, craft demonstrations, food, dancers, singing and flute playing. All Drums are welcome. For more information call Janet Honanie at (909) 276-6345, extension 327.
Wishtoyo/Satwiwa BBQ Fund Raiser Event
Mid-August 1999
Peter Strauss Ranch
Santa Monica Mountains National Parks
Call (805) 778-1526 for more information.

Spring Equinox

Spring is's the time of the East ... where the sun rises and life enters the land. It's the time when wildlife flourishes and Nature is fruitful. It's the time of the Hawk and the Deer. The Deer is the keeper of the East representing "Life". The Hawk represents the message from the Sun to the people...a message expressing the need to appreciate each other and every day of life.


Kinechmu' - Chumash word meaning customs, the way we do things.
SPOTLIGHT: Wishtoyo would like to thank the following people who have given time and support, you know who you are... Terry & Karen Tamminen, Rob Wells, Phil Holmes, Pam & John, Peachy Wessels, Pierce Flynn, Dennis & Linda Garcia, Anaq'pu'Ishaw, Josh & Cecilia, Kent Christenson, Choy 'Slo, Drinking Water, Frank Dominguez, Xew, Michael Ward, Barbara & Jim, Friends of Satwiwa, Nadia Littlewarrior, UCLA Elementary School, Sue Diblasio, Katsumi Fujikura, Patagonia, Glen Henning, Herbert Bedolfe, Bob Keats, John Roache, Elisa Graham, Charlie Cooke, Dr. Richard Applegate, Onok'ok Qilikutayiwit, Sima Walker, Aqui'Wa'Koy, Gina, Susanne M. Wash, FMR.