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Published: June 20, 2012

NCTC objects to improper climbing access to Morro Rock

On Friday, June 22, 2012, the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), in violation of numerous state and federal laws, including those protecting nesting birds, (Migratory Bird Act) will allow the Salinan Tribe of Monterey & San Luis Obispo Counties (Salinan Tribe) to climb to the top of Morro Rock. Morro Rock is a registered Chumash sacred site, but it is the Salinan Tribe that the DPR is allowing to climb it. Reportedly, this climb is being allowed for the Salinan Tribe to conduct “ceremonial or spiritual activities” atop Morro Rock. However, the climb is being allowed against the express wishes of the Chumash people who contend that the Salinan People are not indigenous to Morro Bay (but rather the very northern end of San Luis Obispo County into Monterey County); and as such, have no legitimate right to conduct ceremonial or spiritual activities atop Morro Rock.

The Northern Chumash Tribal Council, Inc. (NCTC) one of two local Chumash Councils, who is listed on the Native American Heritage Commission’s (NAHC) Native America Contact List; the Native American Tribal Consultation List (SB 18); the Most Likely Descendant List for San Luis Obispo County; and, are the true indigenous Native American peoples in Northern San Luis Obispo County for over 9000 years, has filed official protests with the DPR and the NAHC demanding they stop the planned trespass onto their sacred site. Neither state agency will act to stop the climb. On behalf of all Chumash People, NCTC wishes for the public to know that the planned June 22nd climb is neither sanctioned nor approved by any Chumash authority from any Chumash Band. Contrarily, the Chumash People are hurt and appalled that the DPR & NAHC would allow one of their most sacred sites to be trespassed upon without prior and informed consent.

NCTC will continue to seek a remedy that allow all peoples to be equal and all religions to have equal standing, Morro Rock has always been a Chumash Sacred Site and we never climb a Sacred Site to show dominance, we the Northern Chumash Pray at the base of Morro Rock Sacred Site for reverence, peace, equality, caring, sharing and loving together with all races and all animal, bird, and sky’s and earth’s living things.

Northern Chumash Tribal Council: 
Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary: 
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