Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 6, 2018

Special Channel Island Lecture Dec. 13

Channel Island National Park News Release

New Discovery in the Story of the Lone Woman
Ventura, CA – During a special lecture on Thursday, December 13, a panel of researchers will reveal new information about why the Lone Woman remained on San Nicolas Island after others in her community left for the mainland.
Depicted in the best-selling children’s novel Island of the Blue Dolphins, the story of the Lone Woman is based on the true story of a Native American woman who was left alone on San Nicolas Island from 1835 to 1853.
Steven Schwartz, Dr. John Johnson, Susan Morris and Carol Peterson have examined new evidence revealing that the Lone Woman stayed on the island to take care of her son, who had remained behind. She lived with him for a number of years before he was tragically killed in a boating accident, after which she was truly alone.
Contrary to previous belief, it is now understood that when the Lone Woman was brought to the mainland there were native speakers in Santa Barbara who were able to effectively communicate with her through spoken word. She shared with them why she chose to stay on the island as the others left.
Steven J. Schwartz, recently retired, was the Navy’s senior archaeologist on San Nicolas Island for 25 years. Due to this unique position, he has become one of the leading experts on the Lone Woman’s story, publishing and speaking on this topic at numerous venues.
Dr. John R. Johnson has served as Curator of Anthropology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for thirty years. He obtained his Ph.D. at UCSB where he holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Anthropology. His written contributions include more than 80 studies of the culture and history of California’s native peoples, especially emphasizing the Chumash Indians of the Santa Barbara region.
Susan L. Morris is an independent historical researcher and writer. She has worked on 7 of the 8 Channel Islands (including San Nicolas Island) on archaeology, paleontology, geology, and biology projects. For the past eight years, Morris has focused her research on the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, contributing content to the new National Park Service Island of the Blue Dolphins website.
Carol Peterson was the education coordinator at Channel Islands National Park for 16 years and was the main project coordinator for the Island of the Blue Dolphins website. Since her retirement, she has continued to coordinate this project as a volunteer and is responsible for posting all content on the website.
The talk will be held on Thursday, December 13, 2018, and is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding marine waters. The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, in Ventura Harbor. The program is free and open to the public.
This lecture can also be viewed live online, at: Shore to Sea lecture series.
The Island of the Blue Dolphins website is located at: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/islandofthebluedolphins
– NPS –

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