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California's Channel Islands

PostPosted: June 14th, 2006, 8:57 pm
by Liv
I recently learned that the Indians originally inhabited these islands. On my awesome trip to Anacapa with my school I learned the incredible history of the indigenous people and their influence by the Aliute brought by the Spanish fur traders . The Chumash lived mostly on San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz. The Gabrielino Indians lived on Santa Catalina and San Clemente. The Nicoleno lived on the remote island of San Nicolas. Theor maritime culture was called Canalino, the spanish translation for "Channel People"!

The Channel Islands National Park includes five in a chain of eight Southern California islands near Los Angeles: San Miguel, Santa Rosa Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara Island. Santa Catalina is privately owned but popular as a resort destination. San Clemente is administered by the U.S. Navy as is San Nicolas Island which is used as a gunnery range

Did you know that the children's novel, Island of the Blue Dolphins was based on a true story of the Channel Islands? Scott O'Dell's "island of the blue dolphins" was San Nicolas. It's about 75 miles SW of Los Angeles. His book is based on the story of the Lost Woman of San Nicolas Island. In 1835 a boat took the last of the Nicoleno Indians to the mainland. The girl in her mid- twenties went back to camp to retrieve her young son. The rough waters made the rest leave without her. She survived alone there til 1853 and was brought back to the Santa Barbara Mission where she died only seven weeks later. The forty or fifty year old woman is buried on the hill behind the mission under the name Juana-Maria.

Feral boar have been digging up roots and destroying archeological sites for some time on Santa Cruz Island. They are the cause of the near extinction of nine rare island plants and impeding efforts to breed the endangered Island Fox. They have opened a portion of the island to hunting of the wild boar in hopes to solve this problem of feral pig overpopulation. Programs on San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands have aided in the successful breeding of fox pups to be re-introduced to Santa Cruz.