Via The Santa Barbara Independent, May 12, 2022
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History turned over to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians the partial remains of about 1,000 Chumash and pre-Chumash people who had lived throughout the South Coast over a time span of 13,000 years. In addition, UCSB turned over the human remains of 400 individuals and nearly 4,000 funerary objects. Most of these were unearthed when the UCSB campus was first being built in 1950 and date back as far as 4,000 years.
This historic transfer was done in accordance with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, a law requiring museums and institutions of higher learning to turn over such remains and artifacts to federally recognized Native American representatives upon request. That request was issued in late October 2021 by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The last of the remains, as well as a large number of funerary artifacts, were transferred from the Museum of Natural History and UCSB to the Santa Ynez Band officials in late April.