The Channels

Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

Marcus+Lopez+Sr.+talks+to+students+during+the+%E2%80%9CA+Conversation+with+Exploring+Indigenous+Self-Determination+and+its+Impact%E2%80%9D+event+on+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+13%2C+2018%2C+at+the+West+Campus+Center+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+Lopez%2C+a+former+City+College+student%2C+spent+much+of+his+life+fighting+for+equality.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

Marcus Lopez Sr. talks to students during the “A Conversation with Exploring Indigenous Self-Determination and its Impact” event on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at the West Campus Center at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Lopez, a former City College student, spent much of his life fighting for equality.

Marcus Lopez Sr. talks to students during the “A Conversation with Exploring Indigenous Self-Determination and its Impact” event on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at the West Campus Center at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Lopez, a former City College student, spent much of his life fighting for equality.

Lauren Michelle McGee

Marcus Lopez Sr. talks to students during the “A Conversation with Exploring Indigenous Self-Determination and its Impact” event on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at the West Campus Center at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Lopez, a former City College student, spent much of his life fighting for equality.

Lauren Michelle McGee

Lauren Michelle McGee

Marcus Lopez Sr. talks to students during the “A Conversation with Exploring Indigenous Self-Determination and its Impact” event on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at the West Campus Center at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Lopez, a former City College student, spent much of his life fighting for equality.

Jun Starkey, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In honor of Native American Heritage month, the Equity Center invited Marcus Lopez, a Chumash Native, activist and public speaker to give a lecture about the history between the American government and Native Americans, as well as his hopes for the future.

Roxane Pate, program advisor for the Equity Center, said that she wanted to diversify the presentations given, and present a wider range of opinions.

“We wanted to bring someone in from the local indigenous community to talk about issues related to reclamation and self determination,” she said.

Lopez spent much of his life fighting for equality, even as a student at City College many years ago. He said that after going to a Chicano club’s meeting with a friend, he was immediately made the president.

“We established the community because we were from the community at City College,” he said.

After college, Lopez has spent his time trying to educate the public about the reality of what the American government has done, all while protesting the continuing inequality and fighting for their rights.

“The American government has a history of extermination and elimination of the native,” he said. Additionally, Lopez said, he hadn’t learned the true story about how America was “discovered” when he was in school.

He told stories about how land was not only taken, but the natives were brutalized and painted as savages and that during the gold rush, people could even turn in the scalps of natives in exchange for money.

Lopez said that as time went on, he saw a change. Chumash natives went from farm workers and laborers to lawyers, teachers, and doctors. There were issues within the community for some time, small differences between the tribes, but that they needed to be put aside.

“We need to forget about our individual issues and put our collective issues at the forefront,” he said.

In addition to his speech, he suggested everyone read the book “Sí Se Puede” (Yes we can) by Diana Cohn, a book based during the Janitor Strike of 2000 along with many other books from inspirational Native poets and writers, to books detailing the horrors enacted by the American government onto the natives.

Lopez said that he looks to the youth of today for hope. He recalls so many young people standing by him when fighting for standing rock, or fighting to prevent climate change.

“A new social consciousness is being born,” he said.

Lopez advised students to never give up hope and find to ways to stay motivated, and that to solve or address a problem, organizing would be their greatest tool.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Navigate Left
  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    SBCC hires former FBI agent for new job as Title IX coordinator

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    SBCC students gear up for finals week with first De-Stress Fest

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    Veterans Club hosts a farewell event and welcomes new leaders

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    Veterans Club offers help and resources for members at SBCC

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    Futurism Club hosts speaker addressing nuclear fusion

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Clubs

    Robotics Club aims to offer team building, engineering skills

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    SBCC’s new president wants to listen—and ask tough questions

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    Popular K-pop Club brings students together through dance

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    Genetic Club hosts genetic counselors to show insight on job

  • Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people

    Features

    SBCC ambassadors create prom for international students

Navigate Right
The news site of Santa Barbara City College.
Chumash Native, activist on the injustices of indigenous people