Native Peoples and Marine Protected Areas

group of chumash paddling traditional tomol
Chumash Maritime Society - Channel Islands National Park

NPS Photo/Robert Schwemmer

Information on the MPAs in the Channel Islands complex shares common ground with the history of the Chumash peoples of southern California. Though the Spanish and Mexican governments had completely removed the Chumash people from the Channel Islands by the early 19th century, the descendants of the islanders are still actively engaged in the management and stewardship of the Channel Islands complex. Their ecological knowledge, combined with knowledge provided by archaeological evidence found on the islands, such as evidence of traditional Chumash use of marine resources, has been used to help set standards for healthy natural ecosystems.

To find out more about the ways in which the Chumash people of southern California maintain their ties to and help protect their ancestral home, visit the Channel Islands National Park website. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History anthropology department also maintains an active research program on Chumash island culture.

For Further Reading

History and Culture of Channel Islands National Park

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Research Program

Last updated: May 25, 2017


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