Concert to Aid Native American Activist


Supporters of Native American activist Paul Skyhorse Durant are sponsoring a benefit concert in Ventura on Sunday to help him pay off a fine stemming from his arrest last year for possessing hallucinogenic cactus buds.

Durant was never charged with a crime, and the 250 pounds of peyote buttons intended for use in Indian rituals was returned to him. But his arrest brought an outstanding 7-year-old misdemeanor warrant for a drunk driving charge to the attention of authorities, he said.

Durant served 60 days in jail as a result and still has $985 outstanding from a $1,750 fine. Once he pays off the fine, Durant said, he will be off probation and able to return to his Seattle-area home.


“I’d like to leave, I’ve had enough of Ventura County,” said Durant, a drum maker by profession. “The authorities have long memories and they are kind of vengeful.”

Artists performing at the concert include blues guitarist Slidin’ Rene, the Ojai Blues Band, Aztec dancers Grupo Xitalli, Brazilian folk singer Joao Junqueira, Mexican folk-singing trio Los Cantantes and Xochipilli, a trio that plays contemporary Chicano music with indigenous roots.

The event is scheduled for 3 to 9 p.m. at Art City 2, 31 Peking St.

A silent auction for items that include a Native American drum will be held, and a variety of ethnic food and crafts will be available for purchase.

A $5 donation is requested.