Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Visible Nearly Everywhere You Look"

"These are the kinds of challenges faced by the Tongva and Acjachemen people (and others, including the Tatavium, Chumash, Serrano, Kitanemuk and LuiseƱo) who are the original peoples of Los Angeles and Orange County. Although they are officially recognized by the state of California, neither the Acjachemen nor the Tongva enjoy federal recognition. Without federal recognition or a trust-protected land base, there is almost no protective buffer from the plague of relentless development. This means that sacred sites are routinely destroyed. Anthropological studies, for instance, estimate that about 90 percent of Native sacred sites in coastal Southern California are gone.
"Relatively new state laws such as Senate Bill 18 and Assembly Bill 52 do, however, aim to afford greater protection for tribal cultural resources. SB 18 requires local governments to consult with Native nations prior to development projects, while AB 52 adds tribal cultural resources to the categories of cultural resources in the California Environmental Quality Act. But even then, in public debates to protect lands from development, the significance of the laws to protect Native sacred sites often is overlooked in favor of environmentalist rhetoric about protecting endangered species."

Dina Gilio-Whitaker in the LA Weekly discusses Native Americans in Southern California.

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