Lecture to Explore Chumash Traditions

Alan Salazar (photo by Heidi Laughton)

Alan Salazar (photo by Heidi Laughton)

Alan ‘Spirit Hawk’ Salazar, a Native American storyteller and educator, shares his unique perspective in a talk, “Chumash Traditions: Storytelling and a Maritime Legacy,” on Tuesday, March 7, at 3:30 p.m. in Founders Room. The lecture, part of Westmont’s Sustainability Speaker Series, is free and open to the public.

“As residents of the Central Coast, it’s important that we have a deeper understanding of this region’s Native American history and traditions,” says Michelle Aronson, Westmont’s sustainability and marketing coordinator. “I hope people will leave the talk with a new understanding of the Chumash Native Americans, their history, culture and reverence for Mother Nature.”

Salazar’s ancestry can be traced to the Chumash and Tataviam village of Ta’apu, now known as Simi Valley. He is a founding member of the Kern County Native American Heritage Preservation Council and the Chumash Maritime Association. He serves on the California Advisory Council for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and has advised the Ventura County Indian Education Consortium for more than 18 years.

Salazar built the first modern working traditional Chumash plank canoe, which he has paddled for more than 17 years.