Tuqan Man: The Return to San Miguel Island

Ventura, CA — On Thursday, February 13 at 7:00 pm. Nakia Zavalla with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians will share the Santa Ynez Band’s experience on the discovery and return of Tuqan Man, a Native American man who died 10,000 years ago on San Miguel Island.

Tuqan Man’s remains were discovered during an archaeological survey in 2005 eroding into a coastal gully. The National Park Service consulted with the Santa Ynez Chumash Band and together they decided to excavate the unprotected burial of Tuqan Man to prevent it from being lost to the sea.

In 2018, the Chumash tribe returned Tuqan Man to a burial site on the island following federal law and procedures outlined in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). In her presentation Zavalla will present a short film that tells the Santa Inez Band’s experience, including perspectives of elders and other cultural specialists.

Nakia Zavalla is a tribal descendant and the Cultural and Language Director of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Zavalla has a teaching credential in American Indian Languages with a focus on the Shamala language, and a master’s degree in Cultural Sustainability from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Zavalla has served for the past eight years on the planning committee for the California Conference on American Indian Education and serves on the California Living Language Circle Conference planning committee.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2020, at 7:00 pm at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura Harbor. The program is free and open to the public. This talk, part of the From Shore to Sea lecture series is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to further the understanding of the Channel Islands and surrounding waters.

This lecture can also be viewed live online at: Shore to Sea lecture series

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