Land Acknowledgment

Cal Poly sits on the traditional lands of the yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County and Region. The yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini have a documented presence in this area for over 10,000 years. The tiłhini peoples have stewarded their ancestral and unceded homelands which include all of the cities, communities, federal and state open spaces within the San Luis Obispo County region. These homelands extend East into the Carrizo Plains toward Kern County, South to the Santa Maria River, North to Ragged Point, and West beyond the ocean’s shoreline in an unbroken chain of lineage, kinship, and culture.

In recognition of yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini, Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County and Region, Cal Poly proudly named its newest residential community, yakʔitʸutʸu, which means “our community” in yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash language.

yakʔitʸutʸu opened in 2018 and features seven residential halls named after yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash villages throughout the Central Coast region.

yakʔitʸutʸu Residential Community was recently recognized with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for being inclusive, healthy, efficent and home to cost-saving green building features.  

Together, the university and yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini, Northern Chumash Tribe will educate future generations of Cal Poly students and local residents.

yakʔitʸutʸu  new housing video

Building Names and Meanings

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Name Site  Meaning
Tribe Name | yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini    The people of tiłhini
Housing Complex Name | yakʔitʸutʸu    Our community
Building 172A | tsɨtkawayu Cambria Place of the horses
Building 172B | elewexe Paso Robles Named for swordfish
Building 172C | tiłhini San Luis Obispo
cultural capital
Place of the full moon
Building 172D | tšɨłkukunɨtš Carrizo Plain Place of the rabbits
Building 172E | nipumuʔ Nipomo Place of the big house
Building 172F | tsɨtqawɨ Morro Bay Place of the dogs
Building 172G | tsɨtpxatu Avila Beach Place of the whales

Project History

Cal Poly is situated within yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini, Northern Chumash homelands. Cal Poly, as a public institution, has the responsibility to acknowledge their presence and educate the community as a whole. As these places and villages have and always will be sites of relationship and exchange, naming the residence halls after the original village names re-centers ongoing Indigenous experiences as a first step towards acknowledging this responsibility and developing partnerships across communities of students, faculty, staff, and neighbors on the Cal Poly campus and beyond.




At first glance, the names of our newest housing community might look and sound a little unfamiliar. They’re written in tiłhini, the Northern Chumash language. They incorporate some characters you might not have written before and some sounds you might not have used before. That’s okay! As any language-learner can tell you, it takes practice before you can wrap your tongue around new words—and even more practice before you can say those words with confidence.

Take some time to get familiar with the names of this community and explore their meanings. Here are some resources to get you started:


Project Partners

University Housing is grateful to all the partners who worked so hard over the years to take yakʔitʸutʸu housing community from a concept to a home for nearly 1,500 first-year Cal Poly students:


Green Building Features

Cal Poly incorporated many green building features into this project with consultation from yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini tribal team.


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