Land Acknowledgement Statement
The Oak Park Unified School District acknowledges the original inhabitants of the land that our school district encompasses. The land that our schools and facilities rest on has been the home to the Ventureño Chumash indigenous communities for at least the last 13,000 years. Please join us in honoring these ancestral grounds by expressing gratitude for the people who stewarded this land throughout the generations and continue to do so. We also celebrate the resilience and strength that all Indigenous people have shown and continue to show in our region and beyond in the face of systemic injustice.
At their May 18, 2021 meeting, the Oak Park Unified School District Board of Education approved the above Land Acknowledgement Statement which formally recognizes and pays respect to the indigenous communities. The statement acknowledges that the land that our schools and facilities rest on has been the home to the Ventureño Chumash indigenous communities for at least the last 13,000 years. It is intended to raise awareness regarding the enduring relationship between indigenous people and the land.
Mr. Alan Salazar who is an educator, visionary, spiritual advisor of Chumash and Tatavian Native American descendent was involved in this discussion. The statement was approved by the Chumash tribal leadership. Mr. Salazar is a leading cultural resource consultant for the Ventura Indian Educational Consortium
California is home to 109 federally recognized Tribes, more than 70 non-federally-recognized Tribes, and three of the nation's largest urban Indian communities in San Diego, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles County. The state has 30,282 students who identify as American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) students. The majority of the AIAN students attend public school classrooms on tribal lands and in urban centers.
This Land Acknowledgement is published on the District website and every regular Board Agenda. A plaque will be installed at the District Office and Oak Park High School in the future.