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