Aug 10, 2011 1:36 AM by Kathy Kuretich

San Luis Obispo County makes history with Chumash Nation

The Chumash Nation calls it the most important document ever created for indigenous people, and San Luis Obispo County is making history for recognizing it.
The United Nations first adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.
The United States was the last country to endorse it in 2010.
While it's not legally-binding, the Chumash Nation said it ensures equal rights, education, and employment.
Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors passed a resolution supporting it.
At the meeting, Tribal Council leader Fred Collins accepted the resolution with great joy for the Chumash Nation as well as San Luis Obispo County. By supporting this declaration... Collins said San Luis Obispo County is respecting indigenous people, and their right to have an equal voice.
"I think it just says a wonderful thing about the people who live here, about the leadership from our board of supervisors. I think that the broader community can learn a lot from the Chumash community because of our special connectivity to Mother Earth," said Northern Tribal Council administrator, Fred Collins.
Tuesday night, the Chumash community came together in Los Osos, to celebrate the recognition but plan for the future.
"It makes me proud to think that the people of San Luis County have so much foresight and vision that they can see the importance of this document," said Violet Cavanaugh of the Chumash Nation.
Vennise Miller-Forte, chairperson for the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation said the declaration empowers them in a way they've never felt before.
"It helps support the fact that we have rights to fight that cultural genocide that we've felt and has oppressed us for so long," said Miller-Forte.



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