About Coast Live Oak School, founder Mark Hay, Orange County, Southern California
native plants of Orange County, Coast Live Oak School
indigenous wilderness survival skills, tools made from abundant local materials, Coast Live Oak School
basic indigenous wilderness survival skills, Coast Live Oak School
handbuilt tule canoe, Coast Live Oak School, Mark Hay

Native & Ancestral Skills

The skills that we practice and teach at Coast Live Oak School are skills that the native people of Southern California have practiced and perfected over thousands of years of living in the very places we live now. These skills are also skills that all of our ancestors practiced and taught at some time in the past. They are the skills that indigenous people around the world use on a daily basis to meet their basic needs. These skills are common human life skills, and they link all human beings to the living Earth and to each another.

When we remind ourselves that personal computers have only been around for about 20 years, that the car has been in use for less than 100 years, and even a metal tool we take for granted, like a steel knife, was a rare, highly valued family heirloom only 1000 years ago, it puts basic wilderness skills in perspective. Human beings have spent most of our time on Earth doing the things listed below on a daily basis, and in the process, gaining an intimate understanding of local natural places and our deep interconnection with all living beings.

These native and ancestral wilderness skills are a door to many other areas of knowledge: language studies, music, art, ecology, history, archaeology, mathematics, physics, botany, biology, geography, hydrology, and geology, to name a few. In all our classes, especially youth and family classes, we integrate native and ancestral skills with these other areas of knowledge.

If you or your child would like to learn any of the skills listed below, check out Native Skills Camps, Family Walks, Ancestral Skills Camp Outs, and Weekly Home School Classes.

Basic Native and Ancestral Wilderness Skills:


Orange County, California native people, Coast Live Oak School
class locations, Orange County, Southern California, Coast Live Oak School

Coast Live Oak offers classes for all ages, year round in Orange County, California and surrounding counties.

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