LA County Board of Supervisors Makes History with First Ever Native American Land Acknowledgement

Tuesday meeting also opened with Native American invocation

AMTV/Los Angeles, CA, Dec 07 – On her first day as Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Janice Hahn read a Native American land acknowledgement, marking a historic first for Los Angeles County. The text recognizes the historic injustices suffered by the First Peoples of what is now Los Angeles County.

“A little over a year ago the County of Los Angeles embarked on an intentional and transparent process to create a Countywide Land Acknowledgement that would be developed and approved by local Tribes,” said Alexandra Valdes, Executive Director of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission. “Today’s Board Meeting marking the first time the adopted Land Acknowledgement was read was profound. To hear truths about what is now known as Los Angeles County spoken in the Board Room by Chair Hahn, truths that have been pushed aside for far too long will resonate not just within those walls but throughout the County.”

The inclusion of the land acknowledgement was spurred by a recent motion authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Hahn, and was crafted in collaboration with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission and local tribes.

“It has been an honor to lead Los Angeles County’s work around the adoption of a land acknowledgment,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “Seeing this implemented at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting was touching as there are no tribes in Los Angeles County that are federally recognized, and continue to face land access issues despite their histories and cultural contributions. There is more work to do to chip at the inequities, but grateful to all the tribes who worked with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission and our Department of Arts and Culture to get us to this point ─ prioritizing equity and advancing healing in the process.”

The land acknowledgement will open all future meetings of the Board of Supervisors. After the first land acknowledgement Tuesday, an invocation was offered by President Rudy Ortega Jr. and Vice President Mark Villaseñor of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. The invocation included a brief song and a blessing.

“It was my honor to be able to share our culture and the history of my people among our Board of Supervisors,” said Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr.

“It is really meaningful to us that the Board of Supervisors asked my tribe, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, to do the invocation on such a special day,” said Tribal Vice President Mark Villaseñor.

Both are members of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, which coordinates city and county resources to meet the needs of Los Angeles County’s Native American communities.

“I’m proud that we made history here at the Board of Supervisors, and are recognizing the serious injustices and pain that the First People here suffered. It’s part of our history, and we need to name it,” said Supervisor Hahn. “And the invocation today that President Ortega and Vice President Villaseñor gave was a beautiful reminder that the tribal communities native to LA County not only persevered but continue to uplift their cultures and traditions.”

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