The Importance of Acknowledging our History: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, California

This post is another in my ongoing blog series that acknowledges the ancestral lands on which the National Archives’ buildings are situated across the country. This series of acknowledgements is a simple way to offer our recognition and respect to the people  who once lived on these lands.

Aerial view of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, California
Entrance to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is located in Simi Valley, California, which is situated on the ancestral lands of the Chumash peoples.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, California

The Chumash People lived in Simi Valley as long as 10,000-13,000 years ago up until the early 1800s. Simi Valley’s name derived from the Chumash word Shimiji, which refers to the stringy, thread-like clouds that typify the region. Three Chumash settlements existed in Simi Valley during the Mission period in the late 18th and early 19th century: Shimiyi, Ta’apu, and Kimishax or Quimisac.

Map of the Chumash Territory:

Enter your address in this interactive map of Traditional Native Lands to see who once lived where you are now.

My thanks to Ira Pemstein, Supervisory Archivist, Aimee Muller, Archivist, and Michael Pinckney, Archivist, all from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, for the research and information they provided for this post. 

Recommended Readings:

Educational Resources from Chumash Indian Museum: https://www.chumashmuseum.org/educational-resources

“Chumash Values” by Mati Waiya, Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation: https://www.wishtoyo.org/cp-chumash-values

“Chumash History”, Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation: https://www.wishtoyo.org/cp-chumash-history

Trails on Micqanaqa’n Traditional Territory: https://www.trailforks.com/indigenous_land/view/101/

“The Names and Locations of Historic Chumash Villages,” Chester King, The Journal of California Anthropology, 2(2), 12-01-1975: https://escholarship.org/content/qt8833s5k5/qt8833s5k5.pdf?t=krnji3

“Chumash Indians in Simi Valley” by John R. Johnson, Ph.D. page 5-21, Simi Valley: A Journey Through Time, published by the Simi Valley Historical Society and Museum, 1997: https://www.simihistory.com/books/

“The History of Chumash Trail and Chumash Park”, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District: https://www.rsrpd.org/simi_valley/historical_landmarks/history_of_chumash_trail_at_chumash_park.php

“Three Chumash-Style Pictograph Sites in Fernandeño Territory” by Albert Knight: https://www.scahome.org/publications/proceedings/Proceedings.26Knight.pdf

“Chumash Life,” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: https://www.sbnature.org/collections-research/anthropology/chumash-life/

Publications related to Chumash Indians, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: https://www.sbnature.org/collections-research/publications/?page=2&publishedBy%5Bdate%5D=2021-06-09%2012%3A00%3A43.374425&publishedBy%5Btimezone_type%5D=3&publishedBy%5Btimezone%5D=America/Los_Angeles

National Archives Catalog Link:

chumash – Catalog Search (archives.gov)

Additional Links:

https://www.californiafrontier.net/

https://www.chumashmuseum.org/

https://chumashscience.com/

https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/news/nov18/dark-water-journey-chumash-tomol-crossing.html

https://www.sanbuenaventuramission.org/history/chumash-first-people-of-the-land

https://www.wishtoyo.org/cp-chumash-history

https://www.simihistory.com/chumash-era/

https://www.simivalley.org/about-simi-valley/at-a-glance

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