- I use traditional storytelling to teach much as my elders have for thousands of years. -
I, also was the lead monitor from 2011 to 2017 at the Boeing Santa Susana Field Lab site in Simi Valley. It is a 2800 acre unique site with a sacred solstice and rock art site. It is just one of the many sites I have worked to protect.
I have been actively involved with several Native American groups. I am a founding member of the Kern County Native American Heritage Preservation Council and the Chumash Maritime Association. I am a member of the California Indian Advisory Council for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. I have been a community advisor with the Ventura County Indian Education Consortium for over 24 years.
As a member of the Chumash Maritime Association I helped build the first working traditional Chumash plank canoe in modern times and have paddled in this plank canoe for over 24 years.
I am a member of the Elder’s Council for the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. I have also been involved with teaching youths about Native American cultures for 30 years. I have done professional educational programs at schools, museums and cultural events for 25 years. I have done storytelling programs at the American Museum of Britain in Bath England the summer of 2015, but it is the schools in Chumash and Tataviam territory I enjoy going to the most.
I have also, worked as a Juvenile Institution Officer and Group Counselor for approximately 20 years at Juvenile Facilities in Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, Ca. At the Juvenile centers, besides supervising young people, I dealt with people in difficult situations on a daily basis. Counseling at risk youth was a large part of my job. Motivating and inspiring troubled youth is something I have strived to do most of my adult life.
My life experiences have exposed me to many different cultures and people of different backgrounds. I have been a Spiritual adviser within the Chumash and Tataviam community. I do ceremony and lead prayer circles during traditional Native American gatherings. I continue to fight for tribal issues of urban indigenous people. I was raised to be proud of my Native American heritage and I take pride in being a positive role model and a respected Elder. Sincerely, Alan Salazar – Puchuk Ya’ia’c (Fast Runner)
I have worked in several different areas in my life. I have been a traditional storyteller, an Indigenous educator, an Indigenous monitor/consultant, a spiritual adviser, a traditional paddler and builder of Chumash canoes, a preschool teacher and a juvenile institution officer. I am a published author of “Tata, The Tataviam Towhee. A Tribal Story”. And I am currently working on my next book. My family has traced our family ancestry to the Chumash village of Ta’apu, now known as Simi Valley and the Tataviam village of Chaguayanga near Castaic, Ca. We are Ventureno Chumash and Fernandeno Tataviam. My ancestors were brought into the San Fernando Mission starting in 1799. I actively protect my ancestors village sites and tribal territories. As a monitor and cultural resource advisor I took archaeology classes at Cal-State Bakersfield in 1993. I have monitored since 1994. I continue to monitored sites for my tribe, the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.