Giving back to the community has always been a tradition of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Our elders taught us many important lessons in life – including the fact that a distinguishing characteristic of the Chumash is our spirit of generosity. We call it ‘amuyich.
In the beginning, the Chumash used bead money as currency, made from small disks shaped from the Olivella shell. We can imagine thousands of beads circulating in the community as our Chumash ancestors made significant contributions that enhanced the quality of life for many in the community.
Today, the Chumash tribe continues with our long-standing tradition of giving. Our tribe has reached out to hundreds of local groups, organizations and schools in the community by donating more than $18 million.