Proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

The Legacy of Chief Fred Collins
1949-2021

Native American Tribal Chief Fred Harvey Collins, Leader of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council passed into spirit October 1, 2021. He is survived by his daughters Violet Sage Walker of Guadalupe, CA, and Charity Renee Collins and grandson Joseph Hudson of San Luis Obispo. Fred was born December 31, 1949. He lived an incredible life. Fred Eagle Chief “SLO’W” is in the next world with the fighters for the human race, with the elders and the wisdom of the ancients, the warriors, the people who protected the fragile and the weak and the small, the giants that fought for the oppressed and celebrated a beautiful life lived.
Fred left his daughters, specifically Council Chairwoman Violet Sage Walker, to assume leadership of the Council. Fred and Violet have worked hand in hand, every day, for more than 25 years to advance Chumash heritage and culture through the work of the Council including cultural monitoring and advocacy for the establishment of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. Moving forward, Violet will carry on this work in partnership with a broad community of Tribal allies, conservation organizations, and others.

A Tireless Champion for the Chumash Heritage Sanctuary

Six years ago, Fred and the Northern Chumash Tribal Council submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a nomination for the creation of a Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary for the Central Coast of California. Rep. Salud Carbajal, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, and thousands of citizens have urged NOAA to commence the designation process for the marine sanctuary. NOAA has deemed the nomination complete and qualified for designation, but has yet to move forward.

We remind NOAA of Fred Collins – his passionate commitment to this project, his dedication to the protection of the natural world, and his tireless efforts to ensure respect for the culture of the California Indigenous peoples.

In Fred's own words:

"Indigenous peoples have a unique perspective. When incorporated with science, our perspectives highlight Grandmother Ocean’s life and connectivity in a living matrix of thrivability. The connectivity of life in Grandmother Ocean needs our assistance in understanding ways to support the life force of our Grandmother Ocean, in these times. This is an opportunity for all communities along our coast to support the most unique and diverse Grandmother Ocean coast, and it is the time for all of us to assist NOAA in the journey to a 'one of a kind Marine Sanctuary,' The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

"Research is desperately needed in this ecological hot spot. Collapse of these important regional resources would have socioeconomic and ecological impacts that could be devastating. This sanctuary would enhance and expand efforts to understand climate impacts on the Transition Zone and develop strategies for building resilience in our backyard and world-wide.

"There is tremendous potential for good here. A Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary will preserve and recognize the importance of our tribal history, safeguard our shared coastal resources, and open new doors for research and economic growth. We hope to move forward to designation as soon as possible."
You can support Fred's vision of establishing the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary by making a tax-deductible donation here.
Fred & Family
Fred Collins (right) alongside daughters Charity Renee Collins (left) and Violet Sage Walker (middle left), and grandson Joseph Hudson (middle right). Photo courtesy of Jeremy Bishop.
Copyright © 2021 · Chumash National Marine Sanctuary
All photos, unless otherwise specified, are available by public domain courtesy of NOAA ONMS  Website by Sophie Marsh Design Co.
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