SBCC looks to build monument honoring Chumash heritage

SBCC looks to build monument honoring Chumash heritage


The college is looking to create a monument to recognize the sacredness of its campus grounds, and to honor the history of the Chumash.

“One of the things that the tribal leaders were concerned about was that there is nothing on campus that neither recognizes nor honors its heritage,” Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin said.

The idea flourished after a college art installation hurt the feelings of many Native Americans last semester, both within the college and local community.

“This seems like another way to move forward and to benefit from that time in our lives,” said Academic Senate President Dr. Kimberly Monda.

She brought the idea to the College Planning Council of forming a task force to be in charge of the monument.

“A lot of people are just feeling ‘we don’t know the history of this land that our college is placed on,’” Monda said.

The task force will include representatives from various college groups, but will also consult with local Chumash leaders for ideas and directions.

“That would just be my comment,” said Mark Broomfield, the college grounds supervisor. “That we would work as closely with the local Chumash representatives as possible, to make sure they’re on board.”

The task force is set to be formed after Oct. 20, which is the deadline for the groups to present their suggested representatives to Gaskin.

Some members of the council were concerned that the recognition would upset other ethnic groups at the college, and that their specific roots weren’t being honored in similar ways.

“Chumash roots are without question part and parcel of this land that we occupy,” Gaskin said. “Whereas I don’t believe any other group could claim that.”

The installation would be placed on West Campus, but exactly what it would be and how it would be funded is still to be decided.

“It is an amazing piece of land,” Monda said. “And I just feel like we want to honor that past, but it also deepens our present.”