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He claimed Chumash ancestry and raised millions. But experts say he’s not Chumash

Adam Elmahrek & Paul Pringle December 23, 2019

On a recent afternoon, Mati Waiya wore a bear bone in his nose and a medicine bag dangled from a strap around his neck. In his hand were two California condor feathers, sacred to the Chumash people who once flourished on the Southern and Central California coasts.

For more than a quarter of a century, Waiya has served as one of the most prominent voices for the Chumash, invoking his ancestors’ ties to the land along the Santa Clara River. His nonprofit Wishtoyo Foundation, which runs an education center in Malibu, has raised more than $12 million since 2015, IRS records show. 

Complete article: He claimed Chumash ancestry and raised millions. But experts say he’s not Chumash