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VIDEO: Chumash Bless the Malibu Lagoon

California State Parks, the lead agency on the Malibu Lagoon project, is including input from the Chumash people during the project, which could last four months.

As protesters rallied in opposition to the Malibu Lagoon project on Pacific Coast Highway Friday, several members of the Chumash tribe carried smoking sage as they walked through the lagoon.

The sage smudging served as a cleansing and a blessing of the Malibu Lagoon, which tribal members believe is too sick to sustain life.

"This is not about fighting in opposition. This is about healing," said Mati Waiya of the Chumash tribe during a prayer on the edge of the lagoon overlooking .

The Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project is expected to begin as early as Monday. Activists and surfers began protesting the project on Friday, and another protest is set for Sunday at 2 p.m.

Barbara Tejada, a State Parks archaeologist, said the Chumash are being included in the monitoring of the project.

"During the project, we're going to have archaeological and native monitors during all the ground disturbance to be on the lookout in case any artifacts, both historic or native period come up," Tejada said.

David Paul Dominguez of the Chumash said he is concerned for the wildlife in the lagoon, and tribal members will be at the project site daily once it gets underway.

"This is getting restored to its natural habitat. It's been disturbed by centuries of misuse, mismanagement," Dominguez said.

He added the sage is more than a blessing.

"We're asking for forgiveness. We're asking that this [project] goes in a good way. We're here for these people," Dominguez said, pointing to two ducks in the lagoon. "We're here for them, the smallest creatures."

Dominguez said he feels honored to work within the process to make sure the lagoon is healed.

"We're going to be able to interact with the state of California and give our perspective and our plant knowledge," he said.

Read more about the protest and the project: .

sean June 09, 2012 at 09:07 AM
You are on Indian Land !!!!
sean June 09, 2012 at 09:13 AM
You are soooooo right ................ I honor you for bringing forth undeniable truth
Sara Gepp June 09, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Native people say the Earth is sacred. Some places on Earth will feel more sacred than others. You can often feel the sacredness of these places because of what has happened on them. If you do a ceremony on a certain place and return later, whatever happened before will still be there to help you. Even if someone you didn't know did something on the Earth and you come along later, the powers will be there to help you. This is why the Earth is sacred and these special places are sacred spots. -Chief Seattle, SUQUAMISH Regardless of where one stands on the lagoon issue. We first nations people honor our ancestors wherever they are. Malibu Lagoon is a final resting place for many. I am shocked by the racist comments on this post. And just want to make the plea for unity and sensitivity. Sara Gepp- Mapuche
Sara Gepp June 09, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I am a local Native American and I think about unity. Kindness. And not trying to tear people down and discredit them without cause. You are in my prayers, it must be painful to be walking around with so much hate for others.
Sara Gepp June 09, 2012 at 02:40 PM
This is a racist comment

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