Gabrieleno Tongva Mission Indians


With a name meaning "People of the Earth" in the Tongva language, the Gabrieleno-Tongva Mission Indians were the original inhabitants of the Los Angeles Basin. Living up to their name, they readily used the natural resources around them, with the Los Angeles River supplying an ample lifeline of water, food, and shelter. Driven out of their homeland with the arrival of settlers in California, there have been numerous controversies throughout the history of Los Angeles surrounding development and land rights. However, they still remain an active part of the community, with over a thousand Tongva people living in the Los Angeles area.


Los Angeles
Chief red blood Anthony Morales recounts the history of the Gabrieleno-Tongva Mission Indians.


We are Still Here
Mark Acuna, tribal councilman, keeps the Tongva culture alive through research, dance, language and a connection to the river.


The Land of Forests
Mark Acuna describes the LA River when it was once a great willow forest.


The Spaniards
Mark Acuna recounts how the Spanish settlers relied on the labor and knowledge of the Gabrieleno-Tongva Mission Indians.


Split Apart, Blended In
Tongva assimilation and survival.


The river was once the lifeblood of the indigenous Tongva community.

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