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Commentary by James Leon
( Kern County Chumash Council, Vice-Chairman)


"It is long past due, for all of the Chumash People to unite in our efforts to preserve and protect our great history. So our children can be proud of who they are and where they came from.

In the past our people have been deprived and condemned, because of our heritage. Times have changed and we need to work together to re-establish our way of life and our beliefs. For the past few years, The Chumash Council of Bakersfield, as well as many others have worked together to preserve and protect the sacred grounds of Mt, Pinos (Iwinhimu), this is considered to be the center of the Chumash peoples' universe.

The Department of Foresty had plans of developing winter parking, which would influence an increase of use in the area. We did not want this sacred area to be desecrated by an uncaring population. Because of our efforts, the dept. of foresty has dismissed current plans to develop Mt. Pinos. We re-established Mt. Pinos as a location where sacred ceremonies would be performed. We now annually have a sacred prayer vigil for the Summer Solstice on Mt. Pinos.

Because of this, many Chumash People from throughout our lands have attended this vigil. In fact, it set the ground work in developing a special council, which consist of representatives from several Chumash Clans, Tribes and Organizations.

We hope to build a forum, so all Chumash people can have a place to hold council and work together to achieve the positive goals our nation strives to meet. A united Nation with a voice that represents all of the Chumash people. Suggestions and involvement is encouraged..." (October 20, 1998). Comments can be addressed to: James Leon ( )

The Tejon Reservation
Fort Tejon