THE TRIBE TODAY
Today, Gabrielino/Tongva Nation tribal citizens live throughout the City and County of Los Angeles. Often referred to as City Indians, we are part of the fabric of Los Angeles. With more than 700 tribal citizens, we are your neighbors, friends, coworkers, even if you may not be aware of our history or background.
Unlike other tribes in California and across the country, the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation does not currently have designated land to establish a Reservation – we do not have a centralized “home” for our people. This is the direct result of the United States federal government’s failure to recognize the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation as a sovereign nation, despite being under Federal jurisdiction through the Mission Indian Agency and recognized by the State of California, the California General Assembly, and the Los Angeles City Council.
As we work to gain federal recognition, it is vital that we maintain our traditions and sense of community, so that we can honor our ancestors and preserve our history and culture for generations to come.SOVEREIGNTY
While the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation’s tribal ancestors have been here since time immemorial, our tribal name has evolved over time.
At the time of California's entry into the United States, the Tribe was known as the San Gabriel Indians, or Gabrieleño. Like other California tribes subject to Spanish colonization, the Tribe came to be known by the name of the Spanish mission to which they were taken. It was under this tribal name that the Gabrieleño joined the Mission Indian Federation and participated in the Indian Claims Commission.
In the 1970s, tribes across California sought to change their names to reflect their own unique identity and historical circumstances. By 1976, the Tribe was known as the Coastal Gabrieleno/Diegueno Band of Mission Indians.
In 2001, the Tribe reorganized, and, in 2007, changed its name to the present Gabrielino/Tongva Nation, honoring its past as the aboriginal Tribe of the Los Angeles Basin, and its people as the First Angelinos.
TONGVA WOMAN AND THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SEAL
The heart of the Los Angeles County Seal features a Tongva woman, acknowledging our people as the aboriginal people of the Los Angeles Basin, including the area now called Los Angeles County. We are truly the First Angelinos.
She stands on the shore of the Pacific Ocean with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. Also included in the Seal is a representation of the San Gabriel Mission, the first in Los Angeles County, where our people were taken beginning in 1771. Like other California tribes subject to Spanish colonization, the Tribe came to be known by the name of the Spanish mission to which they were taken. It was under this tribal name that the Gabrieleño joined the Mission Indian Federation and participated in the Indian Claims Commission.
The County seal was designed by former Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, drawn by Millard Sheets, and adopted by the Board of Supervisors January 2, 1957, effective March 1, 1957. It was modified by the Board of Supervisors on September 14, 2004, and again on January 7, 2014.