THE CHUMASH INDIANS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WERE ONCE THE LARGEST CULTURAL GROUP IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES PRIOR TO EUROPEAN INTRUSION INTO THIS REGION.
The Chumash islands are located a little north of Los Angeles, in the waters now called the Santa Barbara Channel. In ancient times, the westernmost islands called Wimat (Santa Rosa) and Tukan (San Miguel) were the socio/political center of the Santa Barbara Channel. But when a series of European plagues swept through the region, the island of Limu (Santa Cruz) was the first to recover its population. The Antap government of Limu island thus led the coastal Chumash in their resistance to European intrusion.
When the last of the island families were forcibly relocated to production centers ('missions') on the mainland, Tukan and Wimat nationalists integrated into the Chumash workforces at Purisimo, Santa Ynez, and Santa Barbara.
Limu nationalists favored Ventura, prefering at first to work at the Mugu ranch from which they kept close ties with the Chumash labor force at Mitskanaka (Ventura 'mission' site). In time, the Mugu leadership was dispersed by the hostile Mexican government and church. Some joined relatives among the Humaliwu division of the Chumash, which mixed with the Tongva of Los Angeles and the militant Tejon Chumash of the interior.
Descendants of the Chumash islanders now live throughout Chumashia and are members of a number of contemporary Chumash groups.
Unfortunately, not much progress has yet been made to translate the growing awareness of Native California land claims into concrete plans for increased Chumash and Tongva presence on the islands. You can help by lobbying your represensatives in Washington to vote for federal recognition of native title to parts of these islands.
See Invisible_History for a critique of governmental educational materials about the Chumash islanders.