Land Acknowledgment

December 8, 2021


We thank Mia Lopez of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation and Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation

for sharing her insights and perspective and engaging us in dialogue about the creation of this Land Acknowledgment.


We ask you to join us in acknowledging the Chumash Peoples, their Elders, both past and present, as well as

their future generations. We acknowledge that this University was built upon the villages and unceded lands of

the Chumash people. We acknowledge that these lands where we teach and research are founded upon the

exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples, including those on whose lands we teach and research.

We would like to take this opportunity to ask us all to reflect on how the work we do here today, in the

Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and every day, in our chosen fields, affects these lands and the

peoples of these lands where we work and which we seek to protect. As we work to research and teach

languages, cultures, narratives, and traditions of other areas of the world, we remember that the Chumash

peoples of this area have been separated from these lands and were separated from their languages, deprived

of the ability to maintain livelihoods as they should, to recreate traditionally, to maintain their traditional lifeways

freely, and to have the access to their lands to do their own traditional research and educate their future



The Chumash people are comprised of the descendants of Indigenous peoples removed from their Island of

origin Limuw (santa cruz), Anyapac (anacapa), Wima (santa rosa) and Tuqan (san miguel), subjugated by 5

missions during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, from Malibu to Ragged Point and inland to

Bakersfield. The Villages upon which this University sits were a safe haven for maritime travelers. A place alive

with trading, hospitality and abundance. A place where knowledge of and from the surrounding areas, far and

wide, was shared with all people of this place and its many visitors. A traditional place of sharing knowledge

and education. A tradition this University has an obligation to remember.


Many of the projects and research done by this University are within the traditional territory of the Chumash

Peoples, and/or affect other Indigenous peoples in their territories. In spite of all of this, each Tribe, Council,

Clan and Band is working hard to restore and continue their traditional stewardship practices on these lands

and heal from this historical trauma. The damage that has been done and continues to be done by not sharing

the true history and legacy in this place and others, and by the exploitation of the Natural Cultural Resources

of these areas, can never be erased; there is no mitigation or research project that can make their communities

whole again. But we can do better!


As educators, friends and allies, together, we can acknowledge the mistakes and atrocities of the past and move

forward in remembrance and relationship with the local Chumash peoples and other Indigenous peoples. We

advocate here at UCSB to ensure that our processes here make room for Chumash and Indigenous voices to

be heard, that their languages, narratives, knowledge, and traditions have a place here and should be listened

to, and that their peoples should be a part of the healing of these lands and waters, as well as themselves.

This acknowledgment, though brief and in no way complete, demonstrates a commitment by this department

and their educators, to begin the process of creating a relationship with the local Chumash and Indigenous

Communities and work to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism. We come together today to

acknowledge, stand up for, and give voice to, the unceded lands and waters of the Chumash and all their