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American Indian Resource Center
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American Indians Indigenous to the Los Angeles County Basin

The history and current status of the American Indian tribes indigenous to the Los Angeles County basin, even the precise name, varies greatly depending upon the information source, whether from the earliest published materials up to the self-identified groups of the present.   Primary reasons for these variations is the inconsistent terminology in U.S. government records when referring to the tribes of this area, no official historical U.S. government relations (no treaties) with these tribes, and no consistent designations or identifications in the records of the Spanish Missions.   As a result, today there are different groups that identify themselves by various designations, however most include the “Gabrieleno” or “Gabrielino.”  Using either of these search terms whether in print or online sources will provide more information.

The Fernandeño/Tataviam Tribal Government is the governing body for the Fernandeño/Tataviam Tribe a Native American tribe of the Antelope, Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys in California. Tataviam means "People Facing the Sun"

The Chumash once numbered in the tens of thousands and lived along the coast of California. At one time, their territory encompassed 7,000 square miles that spanned from the beaches of Malibu to Paso Robles. The tribe also inhabited inland to the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley. Today the only federally recognized Chumash are the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

In addition to the Santa Ynez Band, the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, and the Barbareno/Ventureno tribal group are attempting to gain federal recognition. Other Chumash tribal groups include the Northern Chumash Tribal Council, descendants from the San Luis Obispo area, and the Barbareno Chumash Council, descendants from the greater Santa Barbara area.

Current Status of American Indians in Los Angeles

The following publications were produced by the UCLA Ralph & Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies:

Socioeconomic Characteristics of American Indians in Los Angeles County

Socioeconomic Status of American Indian Adults in Los Angeles

American Indian Adults in Los Angeles, California and the U.S.

American Indian Children in Los Angeles, California and the U.S.

The Status of American Indian Children in Los Angeles

American Indian Social Service Organizations in Los Angeles

  • Southern California Indian Center (SCIC)
    The organization's goals are to promote social and economic self-sufficiency for American Indian, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian people. And, to educate and broaden the knowledge of the American public on Indian issues and culture, regarding its unique positive contribution to American society.

  • United American Indian Involvement, INC. (UAII)
    A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides services to the Los Angeles American Indian Community. The UAI mission is: To provide quality educational programs, primary health, mental health, housing, economic development and social services to American Indians residing in Los Angeles County in a manner that is sensitive and respectful to cultural, tribal and spiritual values.


  • California Indian Legal Services (CILS)
    The first Indian-controlled law firm organized to provide specialized legal representation to Indians and Indian tribes. CILS provides free or low-cost representation on those matters that fall within the priorities set by the board of trustees. Created by California Indian leaders and public interest attorneys, CILS has been one of the preeminent advocates for the rights of Native Americans and Indian tribes for over thirty years.


Teacher's Resources

  • American Indians in Children's Literature
    Established in 2006, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.

  • Oyate
    A Native organization working to see that Native lives and histories are portrayed accurately. The site includes evaluation of texts, resource materials and fiction by and about Native peoples; conducting of teacher workshops, in which participants learn to evaluate children's material for anti-Indian biases; administration of a small resource center and library; and distribution of children's, young adult, and teacher books and materials, with emphasis on writing and illustration by Native people.

National American Indian Organizations

  • National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)
    The most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and works on behalf of Indian children and families. NICWA provides public policy research and advocacy; information and training relating to Indian child welfare; and community development services to a broad national audience including tribal governments and programs, state child welfare agencies, and other organizations, agencies, and professionals interested in the field of Indian child welfare.

  • Native American Rights Fund (NARF)
    A non-profit organization that provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.

  • National Congress of American Indians
    The oldest and largest national Indian organization. Among its goals is to protect the rights of Indian Nations and Native Governments. Lists current NCAI issues, meetings, documents, Nuclear waste programs, links and an excellent National Calendar of Indian meetings held throughout the United States.


U.S. Government

General Information Websites

Back to the American Indian Resource Center

Revised 11/13

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