A tribal organization advancing community collaboration, social justice, and environmental stewardship

Land Back

What is land back?

Land Back is the movement to return the ancestral land of Indigenous Peoples to the original inhabitants of the land.

Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC) is committed to return public and private land (through gift, donation, purchase or grant) throughout our unceded ancestral territory, to the Northern Chumash Tribe. We encourage all Native and non-native members of our Central Coast community to utilize cultural and environmental restoration and protection as a first step toward healing intergenerational trauma, and as a way to protect and preserve our lands for all of our future generations.
Jalama Beach, Photo Credit: Robert Schwemmer, NOAA
The Northern Region of the Chumash Nation with Chumash village and site names.

NCTC has three main goals for returned land:

Tribal Collaborative Management

The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary (CHNMS) designation announcement coincides with the Northern Chumash Tribal Council's vision of collaborative management. NCTC looks to the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a model of civility and best management practices and will utilize them in all aspects of our work. NCTC will impart global significance by affirming the essential sacred qualities of the CHNMS to the world and by becoming active participants in the conservation, restoration, and management of the ocean, land, and cultures worldwide.

The Chumash Sanctuary is currently the most prominent element of NCTC’s stewardship, however not the only space where collaborative stewardship is being developed. With past and current work in sustainable farming, ecosystem protection, and land restoration, we are looking to implement these practices on land that we once again hold. This not only heals our lands, but contributes fresh foods to the local community and creates opportunities for tribal job security.

NCTC recognizes the urgent need to respect and promote Indigenous peoples' inherent rights and traditional rights. These rights are derived from our political, economic, and social structures, our cultures, spiritual traditions, histories, and philosophies. Tribal Co-management supports and strengthens these, especially the rights to our lands, territories, and resources.
“Among our greatest challenges at this point is survival. We have to survive in the face of mass death and killing, in the face of destruction of our peoples, of our nations, of (Hutash) Earth. We have to do that. We are required to do that.

We are able to do that because we are spirit-based, ceremonial-based people… We protect these sacred places for those who were here long ago, for ourselves and for those who are still coming. We cannot be a people without these places.”

• Earth Wisdom, Page 200, Pilulaw Khus, Bear Clan Elder, 1932-2020

Education and Community Development

Northern Chumash Tribal Council's vision is to create opportunities for Chumash Community members to implement education of Chumash cultural heritage to all our surrounding communities and local schools. These are not only limited to education, but will provide opportunities for community development, science and technology training, and participation by underserved communities, including other indigenous people, all being implemented concurrently. We will work in partnership with Dr. Dawn Alexandra Murray, M.S, Ph.D. from Antioch University, who will lead the effort to design the curriculum and continue as an online consultant. Dr. Murray is a Professor of Environmental Studies at Antioch University and has 15 years of experience co-developing curricula. Her research focuses on participatory conservation and co-designing methods that equitably integrate communities into conservation solutions. She honors local and Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge when co-designing conservation projects, including documenting the effects of climate change. This is just one example of education based on science and technology as a program of classrooms and educational opportunities led by local community and tribal members.

Tribal Housing

One of the most urgent issues and another of the many challenging life issues affecting members of the Chumash and other indigenous communities, is the lack of access to housing. Incredibly, 44% of tribal communities are under-housed, with a myriad of historical roadblocks to quality housing and homeownership. This creates the perfect storm of homelessness, relocating to non traditional areas and cultural dislocation. We are looking to create access to affordable housing and homeownership options by working with the local community, community leaders, developers, and state agencies. We are also looking to mitigate this issue through our Land Back efforts.

What is the process for Land Back Donations?

If you are currently interested in donating land back or anticipating wanting to do so in the future, please contact Chair Violet Sage Walker and NCTC. This will be facilitated personally and at your convenience. We appreciate your support of The Northern Chumash Tribal Council’s land back goals.

Please follow and support us as we work to acquire Land Back with the decommissioning process at Diablo Canyon. NCTC envisions the creation of an educational Cultural Center, a base for the co-management of the proposed CHNMS, land restoration and land restoration.

Visions for Future Projects:

  • Northern Chumash cultural resource center
  • Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary education and outreach center
  • Cultural healing center
  • Greenhouses and organic farming
  • Ecological restoration of Chumash lands

Other ways to support

We have active and future projects you can support. If you would like to collaborate on an existing or emerging venture, or assist us in meeting our preexisting goals, please consider donating and/or sponsoring any of the projects that are a priority for NCTC.

Get involved with our Land Back initiative!

Northern Chumash Tribal Council: 
Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary: 
Website by Sophie Marsh Design Co.
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