Nakia Zavalla can trace her Chumash heritage back to at least six generations. She grew up on the Chumash reservation and learned about Chumash traditions from her grandmother and her parents.
Zavalla is featured on the latest episode of “SYV Stories,” a new local podcast about community and purpose in the Santa Ynez Valley. Hosted and produced by Solvang resident Tamara Rowles, each episode features an in-depth interview with a member of the community who has contributed something significant to the valley or has an interesting story to share about its history.
Those featured in past episodes range from distinguished resident Allan Jones, Santa Ynez Valley Star Publisher Raiza Giorgi, Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Bethania Pastor Chris Brown and more.
“In our conversation, we discuss Nakia’s family history, her experiences growing up on the reservation, her mission and life’s work to preserve and teach the Samala language and Chumash culture, the challenges she’s faced and overcome along the way, and her vision for the future of her people,” said Rowles.
Zavalla currently serves as the cultural director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Today Zavalla teaches the Samala language and Chumash culture to both the tribe and the Santa Ynez Valley community. Zavalla is also a credentialed teacher who is available to teach Chumash culture to local students. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As listenership grows, Rowles intends to interview more guests who have ties to the valley going back generations as well as passionate community leaders, volunteers and elected officials. Each episode is between 30 and 45 minutes long. New episodes are released approximately every two weeks.
To listen to the podcast, search “SYV Stories” on your phone’s podcast app (Apple, Spotify, Google or your favorite podcast app) or go to www.syvstories.com. Rowles welcomes comments or recommendations for future guests and may be contacted at email@example.com.