KINSLER INSTITUTE 2020

BARTIMAEUS KINSLER INSTITUTE 2020


Unsettling Histories | Decolonizing Discipleship | hukišunuškuy


February 17-21, 2020

Forest Home Camp, Oak View, CA

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Registrations close January 29th, 2020.

| Unsettling Histories |

| Decolonizing Discipleship | 

| hukišunuškuy |

This year we will follow up on the BKI 2019, when we listened to and learned from a range of Indigenous voices concerning land, law and language (note: you do not need to have participated to join us in 2020).  The 2020 BKI, as Rev. Art Cribbs puts it, "aims to help us toward 20/20 vision," by:


Unsettling Histories: Cohorts will focus on the personal and political work required of settlers and immigrants, in order that we might more deeply:

  • understand how our narratives, communities and landscapes in North America are haunted by violence and injustice, past and present; and
  • heal the myriad layers of our colonization, and colonizing behaviors, inward and outward.

Participants will examine our own familial and communal immigrant/settler histories—where our people came from, where and how they/we settled, how they/we colluded and collided with the colonial project, then and now.


Decolonizing Discipleship: We will imagine and strategize how, as persons and communities of faith, to embody more meaningful practices of:

  • restorative solidarity and relationship with Indigenous communities; and
  • “response-ability” to name, understand and resist historical and current structures of settler colonialism.

hukišunuškuy: (pronounced hu-kee-shoon-óosh-kooy): A mitsqanaqan (Ventureño Chumash) phrase introduced to us by local Chumash scholar activist Matthew Vestuto that connotes a different kind of settling: “A promise to vision together.” Guest Indigenous leaders will serve as interlocutors through the process, encouraging us to become reliable “Treaty People” and to work together toward justice and a decolonized future.


Full registration includes a copy of Elaine Enns and Ched Myers’ forthcoming book Healing Haunted Histories: Decolonizing Our Landlines, Bloodlines and Songlines (Cascade, summer 2020). Note: you do not need to have participated in 2019 to join us in 2020. 


Above right:“Bartimaeus Billabong”, painted for the 2019 BKI by Australian Indigenous artist, Safina Stewart. www.artbysafina.com.au

Confirmed Guests

This year as we focus on attendees own work as settlers and other kinds of inhabitants of lands that belonged to others, we will be guided and led by a range of indigenous invited guests who will, in part, fill the role of interlocutors – stepping in between the conversations – to prompt and inform, and to respond and reflect on the conversations and learnings as they evolve and transform us, throughout the week.

  • Julie Tumamait-Stenslie - Opening Ceremony & Storytelling

    Julie traces her Chumash ancestry through her father, a leader or paha among the Chumash until his death in 1992. Her family’s Chumash lineage extends throughout Chumash historical homelands, from the villages of Hichimin, Lu’upsh and Swaxil on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands, to as far north as San Luis Obispo County and as far south as Humaliwo (Malibu), and throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties (including Mishopshno, or Carpinteria, and Matilija here in the Ojai Valley). She has traced her family to at least 11 known Chumash villages, as far back historically as the mid-18th century, before the Portolá Expedition of 1769 into Alta California. She has worked as a cultural resources consultant, providing guidance for private groups and state, county and city regulatory agencies, including the U.S. National Parks Service. She is Tribal Chairperson for the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians (Chumash) formed in 2003, which is seeking federal tribal status. She grew up in the Ojai area and currently owns a home in Meiners Oaks, very near the birthplace of her great, great grandmother, Maria Ricarda Alulalmeque, who was raised in the Chumash village of Matilija.

  • Harry Lafond

    Harry is former Executive Director of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Saskatchewan. He works in both politics and academics, and is an advocate for e Cree language development. He serves as chair of the Board for First Nations Trust, and formerly served his Muskeg Lake Cree Nation as chief, Director of Education and as principal of Kihiw Waciston School.

  • Dr. June Lorenzo

    June is a lawyer and a member of, and in house attorney for, the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico. She is a member of the Laguna Presbyterian church, where she is an elder and currently the clerk of Session, and a member of the PCUSA General Assembly Committee that presented the report on the Doctrine of Discovery (of which she was the primary author) to the General Assembly.

  • Cheryl Bear - Artist in residence

    Cheryl is Nadleh Whut’en from the Dakelh Nation and Dumdenyoo (Bear) Clan; her community is in Central BC, on the shores of Fraser Lake. She currently lives in Vancouver, BC. Learn more on her website.

  • Rev. Robert Two Bulls - Artist in residence

    Bob Two Bulls is director of Indian Work for the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and a second-generation Episcopal priest (Lakota). The Vicar of All Saints Indian Mission in Minneapolis, Co-Director of First Nations Kitchen and founder of the Red Shirt Project, Bob will again serve as Institute Artist and chaplain. Hear him talk about his artwork here.

  • Jonathan Cordero

    Dr. Jonathan Cordero (Chumash/Ohlone) is assistant professor of sociology at California Lutheran University. As a cultural sociologist, Jonathan studies aesthetics in contemporary culture, social geography, and contemporary California Indian identity. As an ethnohistorian and Native Californian, he studies California Indians during the Spanish Colonial and Early American periods. He is founder/chair of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone (www.ramaytush.com). Jonathan will talk about the California missions legacy at the BKI. 

  • Matthew Vestuto

    Matthew is a member of the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians (Chumash) and is a tribal scholar and educator whose primary focus is language and cultural revitalization. He educates through tourism and will be offering tours of lo’ka’ut̓am kamitsqanaqan̓ - the Ventura River and town.

Program Planning Committee

Joining Ched, Elaine and Chris for 2020, BCM has expanded the Program Planning Committee to include some past members, some of the invited resource team for BKI2020, local Chumash leadership and 3 new members who are alumni of at least 3 previous Bartimaeus Institutes:

- Rev. Bob Two Bulls (Lakota) (Minneapolis MN)  

- Dr. June Lorenzo (Laguna Pueblo/Navajo (Dine)) (Paguate, NM) 

- Rev. Dr. Art Cribbs (Los Angeles, CA) 

- Matthew Vestuto (Chumash) (Ojai, CA) 

- Dr. Jonathon Cordero (Chumash/Ohlone) (Thousand Oaks, CA) 

- Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs-Zehnder (Los Angeles, CA) 

- Nathan Holst (Duluth, MN) 

- Tim Nafziger (Oak View, CA) 

- Shady Hakim (ex-officio - BCM Board, Ventura, CA)


Left: “Buffalo,” by Robert Two Bulls, Minneapolis