I have worked in several different areas in my life. I have been a Native American consultant/monitor, a traditional storyteller, a spiritual adviser, a traditional paddler of Chumash canoes, a preschool teacher and a juvenile institution officer. I have also been a journeyman plaster since I was a young man and have been around construction most of my life. My family has traced our family ancestry to the Chumash and Tataviam village of Ta'apu, now known as Simi Valley and the Tataviam village of Pi'ing near Castaic, Ca. We are Ventureno Chumash and Tataviam. My ancestors were brought into the San Fernando Mission starting in 1803. And I still continue to actively protect my ancestors village sites and tribal territories, which include the Malibu area.
I have been actively involved with several Native American groups. I am a founding member of the Kern County Native American Heritage Preservation Council and the Chumash Maritime Association. I am a member of the California Indian Advisory Council for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. I have been a community advisor with the Ventura County Indian Education Consortium for over 18 years. And I am currently a member of the Environmental Review Board for the city of Malibu.
As a member of the Chumash Maritime Association I helped build the first working traditional Chumash plank canoe in modern times and have paddled in this plank canoe for over 17 years. I have also been involved with teaching youths about Native American cultures for 20 years.
I have been involved with protecting Native American cultural sites for 20 years. I have been a consultant/monitor on sites in Ventura, LA, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern counties. I am one of the few consultant/monitors that has taken college classes in archaeology and has worked as a field archaeologist, to help me better understand the field. I have monitored on large pipelines covering 40 miles with numerous sites, highway widening were multiple ancient burials were found and large construction sites were you eat a lot of dust and find very few artifacts.
I have also, worked as a Juvenile Institution Officer for approximately 20 years at Juvenile Facilities in Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, Ca. At the Juvenile centers, besides supervising young people, I dealt with people in difficult situations on a daily basis. Counseling at risk youth was a large part of my job. Motivating and inspiring troubled youth is something I have strived to do most of my adult life.
Even today it is not easy being a proud California Native American. Misinformation about my tribes is still out there. And we have many obstacles still to overcome. But, I was raised to be proud of my Native American heritage. I take pride in being a positive role model and a respected Elder. I pride myself on being someone that has a positive relationship with many of our Native leaders and Native peoples in California. And I take my responsiblities as an Elder very seriously.