Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, Chumash Elder

Julie Tumamait-Stenslie has traced her family lineage from her father, Vincent Tumamait, to at least 11 known Chumash villages and as far back as the mid-18th century. Ms. Tumamait-Stenslie has worked as a cultural resource consultant from Malibu to Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands, providing guidance for private groups and state, county, and city regulatory agencies, including the Ventura and Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s offices. She is well known throughout Ventura County and beyond for her Chumash cultural education programs and also performs ceremonies according to her native ways, such as weddings, burials, naming ceremonies, and blessings. Ms. Tumamait-Stenslie is a commissioner on the California Native American Heritage Commission and on the board of the Santa Clara River Conservancy. She serves on the accessions committee for the Museum of Ventura County.

Ms. Tumamait-Stenslie has lived in the Ojai area nearly her entire life and owns a home in the Meiners Oaks neighborhood, very near the birthplace of her great-great- grandmother, Maria Ricarda Alulalmeque, who was raised in the Chumash village of Matilija. Her husband, Bruce Stenslie, is president of the Economic Development Collaborative in Ventura County. They share their home with Ms. Tumamait-Stenslie’s three children—Paula Pugh, Rane Tumamait- Stenslie, and Aren Tumamait-Stenslie—and an assortment of well-loved animals.