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Bennett, Ms. April » Land Acknowledgement - Tovaangar

Land Acknowledgement - Tovaangar

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - TOVAANGAR

 

In this classroom, we acknowledge that the land we inhabit today was once known as Tovaangar. It was the home of the Gabrielino/Tongva people, the stewards of this land before we came to live here. Tovaangar was occupied and colonized by Spain in the 1700s and then by Mexico in the 1800s. In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico in order to take possession of the Los Angeles region, California and other lands in the West.

 

Many Gabrielino/Tongva people continue to live in the Los Angeles area and care for this land. In addition to the Gabrielino/Tongva people, there are thousands of Indigenous people living in Los Angeles from across our nation. In fact, Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Indigenous peoples in the United States. Their ancestors were mistreated, abused and displaced by the citizens of the United States that moved west in the 1800s.

 

The history of what happened to the Gabrielino/Tongva in this land and other Indigenous peoples in the world is one that has been hidden and distorted over the course of time. This has been done in part and in an effort to erase the immoral and unjust actions of Europeans and Americans who stole and colonized Indigenous lands. In this classroom, we seek to tell the whole story and include voices that were previously excluded. We strive to bravely face the facts of this history, no matter how painful, and give a truthful account of the past.

 

I hope that beginning with this acknowledgement will lead to a better understanding of our world. And, I hope a better understanding of our world will lead to meaningful actions and contributions in our society. Specifically, I believe that sovereign rights of Native communities in the Los Angeles area and throughout the world need to be strengthened and preserved.

 

To learn more about the Gabrielino/Tongva in Los Angeles today and in the past, click on the links below.

 

Finding Tovaangar

Mapping Indigenous L.A.

Gabrielino/Tongva Nation of the Greater Los Angeles Basin Tribal Atlas Page

 

I invite any suggestions that will help improve the accuracy of this statement and I apologize in advance for any omissions or errors. Please contact me at abenne1@lausd.net with any information or wording suggestions. Thank you.

 

April Bennett

Unceded Tongva Land (Los Angeles, CA)

August 29, 2019