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Before Columbus Day

by Duff Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2001 at 4:19 PM

“Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold."

“Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold,” said Chris Columbus on his voyage to Turtle Island. Decimation, slavery, racisim, oppression of the indigenous people of this land has followed in the over 500 years since those words were spoken.

On October 7, 2001 people of all colors gathered in West Los Angeles to celebrate life before Columbus. On the grounds of University High School is a sacred site. Sacred to the descendants of the true “Angelinos”. The Gabrielino/Tongva Nation hosted the annual event which took place at the spring of Kuruvungna. Bubbling from the sandy soil is water, which was pretty amazing to see in asphalt covered LA, and the land surrounding the spring was once a village site. The history of Los Angeles is rich and the future is even more promising. The Gabrielino/Tongva is working to restore the Kuruvungna area as a cultural center, which would be a tremendous asset to the diversity of our region. The tribe is working to obtain federal recognition which would mean cultural centers, language grants and access to health care. It also means changing history books to include the tribe and letting people know that they still here and active in the basin.

Story telling, dancing, music and informational booths were part of the day to raise awareness. I came to offer prayers of peace and to honor those who have died since 1492. I know we can not go back, but we must move forward together.

Photos to follow.

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