The "San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians" Gabrieleno (Tongva) Band of Mission Indians was exclusively recognized by the State of California in 1994. We have remained an integral part of the Southern California community. Our presence is well documented. Our existence is preserved in records of the three local Catholic Missions and in the records of local cities throughout the Los Angeles and Orange Counties as well as the Southern Channel Islands. We have cultural and historic sites located throughout the County. Our office still remains near the San Gabriel Mission.
Why do we keep Gabrieleno?
Although Gabrieleno is the original name given to us by the Spainiards that colonized our land, it is important to recognize that that is what our ancestors identified as for more than a century. To erase the name "Gabrieleno" is to erase the identity of our ancestors that helped us find our way back to our culture and eventually back to the name "Tongva". We have ancestors buried at the San Gabriel Mission who only knew themselves as Gabrieleno, who carried on our language and traditions and proudly called themselves Gabrieleno. Although we are happy to have found our original name in our language, we could not in good concience erase the name that our ancestors prided themselves in.
WE ARE THE GABRIELENO (TONGVA) BAND OF MISSION INDIANS
WHO WE ARE
The Gabrieleno (Tongva) Band of Mission Indians is the first and only state recognized tribe in the Los Angeles area. Our lineage is dated back before the time of the California missions. The first part of our name "Gabrieleno" comes from the term the Spaniards gave us while we worked and lived as slaves in the San Gabriel Mission. The second part of our name, Tongva, comes from our native language. We recognize both parts of our name as homage to our ancestors who lived in and out of the San Gabriel mission. We are the first Angelenos, and we are here!
WHAT WE DO
Preserving our cultures and traditons and passing them down to the younger generations of our community is the top priority of our tribe. As an integrated part of the culture of LA, we enjoy performing our dances and educating the general public about our history as the first Angelenos.
We have been an integral part of Los Angeles county. Our culture has been passed down from generation to generation with an added initiative to share our culture with the LA community.
See a timeline of our history, historical documents, and other references of our centuries in Southern California.
"We learned from our elders to respect life, to respect Mother Earth, to respect the part of our lives that give us life."