Los Angeles Native
Peoples & History
The area now known as Los
Angeles County has been
continuously occupied by several native American nations since
The bulk of Los Angeles city was occupied by the
Along the Pacific coast the Chumash occupied what is now Malibu
to San Luis Obispo County.
The Tataviam lived in the
The Tongva and Chumash also lived on the
coast and are both known as great seafarers. It is believed among
researchers that they had contact with the oceangoing prehistoric
European contact began as early as 1542 when a
boat (ti'at) sailed out to greet Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo off the
shores of present day San Pedro.
When the first missions were established by Spain, the Spanish habit
was to name
their new Native American 'neophytes' after the mission they were
Subsequently the Tongva people were renamed the
Gabrielino, the Tataviams in the San Fernando Valley were renamed
Modern California Place Names
With Tongva Origins
Azusa, Cahuenga (Pass),
Cucamonga (Rancho), Pacoima, Topanga, and Tujunga
Modern California Place Names
With Chumash Origins
Malibu, Mugu (Point), Ojai, Piru, and Simi (Valley).
Los Angeles and California
Indian Museum and Cultural Center - The goals of the Museum and
Cultural Center are to educate the public about California Indian
history and cultures, to showcase California Indian cultures, to
enhance and facilitate these cultures and traditions through
educational and cultural activities, to preserve and protect California
Indian cultural and intellectual properties, and to develop
relationships with other indigenous groups.
Native American Links & Historical Info
Native American Indian Culture Center - Find out what's going on at
the Chumash cultural center in the Santa
Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (U.S.
National Park Service). Learn about Chumash history and lore,
view exhibits or join them around the campfire for one of their
Band Of Mission Indians Of San Gabriel - 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.
Our ancestors were the people who rowed our remarkable Ti'ats (plank
canoes) out to meet the explorer Cabrillo in 1542 off what is now San
"Tongva" means 'people of the earth'.
Fernandeņo Tataviam Band of Mission Indian's region stretches from
the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clartia Valley to the Antelope Valley
and can be traced as far back as 450 A.D. The Tataviam are known
as 'the people facing the sun'.
Foundation protects and preserves the culture and history of
coastal communities and fosters responsibility to our waters, marine
habitats and watersheds through research, education, community action
and where necessary, citizen enforcement. We aim to utilize traditional
Chumash beliefs, practices, songs, stories and dances to create
self-respect and a greater awareness of our connection with, and
dependence upon, the natural Environment. Current projects
include restoration of a Chumash Village in Malibu and Nicholas Canyon