Our Mission

The Initiative to build a Museum of Indigenous Culture and Natural history is our Mission. It just so happens that a world class Museum is the prefect fit for the Cultural Terrace of the Great Park in Irvine, the former El Toro Marine Base. Our mission to build a nationally renown institution is born from scientific necessity, public need, educational necessity, as well as cultural and historical imperatives.  A home for the thousands of Fossils and Tribal artifacts   unearthed here in Orange County, that currently remain in storage, many still undiscovered and un-curated in plaster casts. A place for research, and a place for display. A regional and national destination which would be on par with every great Natural History Museum, such as those in Los Angeles, San Diego and across the nation. A place checks all the boxes that serve the greater good. A place for events, a place for education, and a place of discovery. A destination with grounds that serve the public benefit, a place whose economic and cultural benefit would be unmatched for generations to come. 

Our Inspirational Histories

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Dr. Jere Lippes at the Cooper Center, Ca
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Ancestors Walk, Acjachemen
Pleito Canyon, Chumash
Cahuilla Bird Singers
Alfredo Figueroa, Mojave geoglyphs

The Orange County Museum Coalition Staff

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

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Photo by Matt Gush

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Mel Schantz, Chair OCMC

Founder, Tribal Activist, Real Estate Developer, Museum Advocate, Muscian, Artist, Executive Staff, CCRPA

Dr. Pat Martz, Phd, CCRPA Founder and Chair, OCMC

Founder, Phd  Antrhopology, Archeology, Professor Emerita Anthropology CSULA, Archeologist, Museum Advocate and Museum Exhibit Educator, Executive Staff

Rebecca Robles, Elder, OCMC

Founder, Tribal Advisory Council, Acjachemen Tribal Culture Bearer, Executive Staff, CCRPA

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Dr. Jere Lipps, Phd, OCMC Staff Advisor

Museum Consultant, Paleontologist, Curator Museum of Paleontology UC Berkeley, Distinguished Professor and University Department Chair, Published Author, Museum Advocate
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Photo by Matt Gush

Anne Whitehair, Former Chair OCMC Staff

MA, Anthropology, Bioarcheology, Museum Advocate, CCRPA Secretary, Business Owner
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Photo by Matt Gush

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Photo by Matt Gush

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Photo by Matt Gush

Virgina Bicksford,  OCMC Staff

MA Anthropology Archeology, Prehistory Site Preservation and CCRPA Board Member, Museum Advocate and OCMC Project Manager

Denise Fachko,     OCMC Staff

BA Environmental Geography, Wildlife Activist, Cooper Center Lab Assistant Paleontology, CCRPA, Museum Advocate

        Jane Olinger,        OCMC Staff

Real Estate Broker, Activitst, Museum Advocate, CCRPA Board

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Photo by Matt Gush

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Photo by Matt Gush

Eileen Skalky,

OCMC Secretary

BA Anthropology, Advanced Studies Applicant-Phd Archeology, Intern at the Cooper Center, Archeology Department, Museum Advocate, CCRPA  

Sylvere Valentine, OCMC Staff

MA Anthropology, Archeologist and Site Preservation Specialist, Cal Trans Environmental Planner (Archeology  dist. 6), Museum Advocate, CCRPA Vice President

Jocyeln Aponte, OCMC Staff

BA History/Anthropology, Masters Candidate, Intern with San Bernardino National Forest Service, Cultural Resources/Site preservation, Pre-California History Research, Museum Advocate, CCRPA

To Grow Our Vision and Create this Place

From the very beginning, who we are as individuals and as a collective, has always been about this amazing exploration of two worlds, that of the past as it lhas become the present. To understand this glorious world around us and try to explain all the wonder that it holds, we must know of what it was like before, sometimes before our ancestors even got here. Tribal culture in this area reflect this. Archeological and Paleontological  evidence shows us. How the past is interpreted, and then taught to future generations, depends on our abilities to understand the the content and context of what was, and to preserve that which has been recovered.  This is the natural history of area known as Southern California, as Orange County.

By Understianding that, comes meaning, and from meaning comes the realizations, full circle of who we are now, and why the living history of this amazing region matters.

The Museum of Indigenous Culture and Natural History intends to be a world class institution which serves as a gateway, from the past, in the present, and forward into a sustainable future. Culture happens here. Research happens here. Learning happens here. Experience and contemplation happens here.  This is about creating a site, which is is destination. A sense of place that will transcend generations.