"Tongva" means people of the earth, in our language.
The Tongva occupied the entire Los Angeles basin and the islands of Santa Catalina, San Nicholas, San Clemente,
and Santa Barbara. From Topanga Canyon to Laguna Beach, from the San Gabriel mountains to the sea, we lived throughout
most of what is now Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The existence of our people on these ancestral lands has been
unbroken since long before the first contact between the Tongva and Europeans.
Despite the European incursion, we have remained an integral part of the Southern California community.
Our presence is well documented. Our existence is preserved in records of the three local Catholic missions and
in records of local cities and both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. We have survived! We are here!
- To be vigilant, effective guardians of our lands and ancestral remains.
- To be wise teachers of our youth so that they will be informed and proud guardians
of the ways of our ancestors.
- To increase our efforts at cultural recovery and renewal: language, song, dance, music,
basketry, story telling, ceremonial regalia, and spiritual traditions.
- To achieve federal recognition of our People.
RECENT PROJECTS AND ENDEAVORS BY TONGVA
- H.R. 2619, a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis for federal recognition (2001)
- Federal 17 month Grant for recognition (2001)
- Research for federal recognition (1994-2000)
- Haramokngna Center at the Red Box Fire Station (1999) (neayuh1.htm)
- Native American Youth Center in El Monte (1999)
- Heritage Park (1999)
- Annual March for the Ancestors, celebrating some of the ancient sites important to the history
and culture, including pan'ge, ORA-64, ORA-83, ORA-86, Hellman Mesa, and Puvungna. The March for the Ancestors
was begun in 1997 by the late Lillian Robles to reaffirm the connection with our history, sacred sites and the
burial grounds of the Ancestors.
- Federal A.N.A. 2-year Grant for recognition research (1996-1997)
- The Moomat Ahiko (Breath
of the Sea) made its maiden voyage on September 9th, 1995, at Catalina -- the first ti'at
(plank canoe) built since the 1800's.
- Defense of Puvungna, sacred birth place of
Tongva religious leader Chin-ngich-nish.
- Kuruvungna Springs, an ancestral Tongva village and sacred site,
was rededicated in the early 1990's as ritual land and is now used for ceremonial events.
- The San Dimas Festival of Western Arts is installing a mural in San Dimas City Hall commemorating
Juana Maria, the last Tongva to inhabit San Nicholas Island.
- In 1993, San Gabriel residents voted to name their new High School "The Gabrielino High School".
- The "Gabrielino Trail" was designated
in the upper Arroyo Seco Canyon of the San Gabriel Mountains in 1994 by the United States Forest Service.
- The City of San Gabriel passed a resolution recognizing "the Gabrielino-Tongva
Nation as the aboriginal tribe of the Los Angeles Basin" on Aug. 24, 1994.
- The California Legislature adopted a similar resolution acknowledging its longtime relationship
with the Gabrielino/Tongva on Aug. 31, 1994.