The Tribal Trust Foundation, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving indigenous cultures in their environment, began the new year announcing new board members and officers.
Barbara Savage, who founded the organization in 1996, was re-elected president and treasurer. An adjunct professor at Antioch University Santa Barbara, Savage is also the buyer/curator for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art store.
Savage has personally witnessed the survival struggle of indigenous peoples throughout the world and identified the cultural preservation projects the foundation supports. She has produced two documentary films for TTF and most recently organized Mbuti: Children of the Forest, a traveling photographic exhibition that brings honor and awareness to the indigenous pygmies of the Congo's Ituri Forest.
Dr. Dawn Murray, a professor at Antioch University, was elected vice president. With a Ph.D. in ocean sciences from UC Santa Cruz, Murray now teaches courses in marine biology, environmental advocacy and justice, global environmental studies, and sustainable business practices. She also directs the Tribal Trust Foundation’s research and curriculum development programs.
Hudson Hornick, a new board member, was elected secretary. Hornick, who has a master’s in creative writing, is a partner in Alchemy On Demand, a PR, marketing and fundraising agency in Santa Barbara. He also teaches writing and online marketing classes at Santa Barbara City College’s Center for Lifelong Learning.
Art Cisneros, another new board member, was elected Tribal Trust Foundation ambassador. A Chumash elder and firekeeper, Cisneros holds sacred space, tells stories and conducts ceremonies for people from all walks of life at his home in Goleta, on Limuw (Santa Cruz Island) during the Chumash tomol crossing, at The Ojai Foundation, and elsewhere.
Robert Ornstein, the third new board member, is the founder and principal of Nonprofit Governance Guardians, a consulting agency specializing in legal and governance issues for nonprofits. An attorney with many years in private practice in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and the Central Coast, Ornstein has served on the boards of many local nonprofits, including as the president and board chairman of the Santa Barbara Nonprofit Support Center, and KCLU National Public Radio.
Other continuing board members include Jill Ellifson, retiring vice president, and Susannah Forest, former human resources director for a large, privately owned company in Boston.
The Tribal Trust Foundation is dedicated to preserving indigenous cultures, which are living treasures, by promoting worldwide environmental stewardship and responding to requests from indigenous peoples.
“Indigenous communities around the world are asking for assistance to preserve their culture and traditional way of life,” Savage said. “Due to nontraditional influences, destruction of their home lands, and the basic need to survive in a modern world, many ancient and complex cultures are in jeopardy of disappearing forever.
“We are working to keep that from happening and to raise awareness that we have much to learn from indigenous cultures that have survived for thousands of years.”
Click here for more information on the Tribal Trust Foundation and its work.
— Leslee Goodman is a publicist for the Tribal Trust Foundation.