Joe Calderon, Chumash Cultural Monito
EcoJustice Radio

Indigenous Protocols: Approaching the Lands with Cultural Monitoring


EcoJustice RadioJoe Calderon speaks with EcoJustice Radio on Indigenous protocols regarding archaeological resources and artifact preservation through land surveying. He is a Cultural Monitor representing Chumash, Tongva, and Chicano Peoples in Southern California.

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Joe Calderon, Cultural MonitoCalifornia Natives Protecting Their Ancestral Legacy

Indigenous Cultural Monitoring is an important step in acknowledging Native peoples’ historic and spiritual relationship to stewardship of public and private lands. An Indigenous Cultural Monitor is someone from local Tribal Nations trained in archeological methods, Indigenous Protocols, and traditional teachings who monitors archeological assessments conducted within affected lands. Those assessments include potential environmental impacts and artifacts uncovered during the work.

Joe Calderon, Chumash Cultural MonitoIn the last few years, momentum has been increasing around the Land Back movement, an Indigenous-led initiative to return both public and private lands to Native peoples that claim them historically, spiritually and culturally. It is a movement for restitution and restoration of Indigenous rights, decision making power, sovereignty and self-determination with regard to land.

We acknowledge that the lands here were first “stolen” and continue to be sold to the highest bidder. How might we change the existing system? How to approach the lands in a good way, a better way?

On this week’s show, Joe Calderon shares his insights on Indigenous protocols, archaeological analysis, and properly approaching the land. He is a Cultural Monitor representing the Chumash, Tongva, and Chicano Peoples. He works to protect his Ancestors, Sacred Sites, Artifacts and Cultural Resources, as well as doing his best to care for the environment, water, and lands. He is also a singer, instrument maker, and composer of songs and enjoys sharing traditional teachings with others.

His monitoring company, Sacred Grounds, can be reached at

EcoJustice Radio also interviewed Joe’s wife and daughter in 2019, Tina and Jessa Calderon. Listen to the interview:

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Hosted by Carry Kim
Intro by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer and Original Music: Blake Quake Beats
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Episode 127
Photo credit: Joe Calderon

Updated 21 June 2022

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