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Tongva West Bluffs events

by Leah Walton Sunday, Jul. 13, 2003 at 12:14 PM

Article in the OCRegister today by J. Kanne details specifics of the proposed settlement agreement preserving a cemetery and NA interpretive center to honor ancestors dug up on the Hellman Mesa, which includes ORA260 to ORA264. VIDEO IS AVI AND IS 13.8MB


The West Bluff above Ballona is recalled in oral history tales as home to a rich and relatively numerous "village" of the people now known as Gabrieleno/Tongva, the indigenous people of the

Los Angeles Basin. They were generous, but contentious, according to one account, mostly minding their own business of prayers, ceremonial dancing, and living on the bluffs overlooking paradise.

Now Catellus Corp. is proposing to build a huge housing tract on his last very rare upland habitat, attached to the wonderful Ballona Wetlands and needed to keep it healthy. In addition,the West Bluffs is a beautiful flower field, foraging field for

raptors and resting place for tired eyes of urban dwellers.

Instead of a housing tract, it should be a memorial field for our Native Americans, the Gabrieleno/Tongva, and the ancestors disturbed should be reburied and left in their cemetery. If you can, please think of attending the vigils. /Doug


1. Press conference held today, Fri.

2. Sunday vigils continue


1.For Immediate Release: CEREMONIAL PROTEST & Contacts: Kathy Knight, Chair, Airport Marina Group Sierra Club

Leslie Purcell, West Bluffs Coordinator, 310-737-1111

Ballona Ecosystem Education Project

Catellus Defies Gabrielino Council and Native American Heritage

Commission In Destruction Of Burial Sites At Ballona West Bluff

When: 10AM--2PM Friday July 11, 2003

Press Conference: 10:30 AM

Location: Lincoln Blvd. (west side of street) at LMU Drive, south of Jefferson Blvd., north of Manchester in Westchester, Playa Del Rey area at

the foot of the West Bluff.

Catellus Development Corp, one of California's largest landowners, ratcheted up its destruction of sacred burial sites on the Ballona West

Bluff, despite the Gabrielino/Tongva Indians of California Tribal


and the California Native American Heritage Commission requests to immediately halt the project.

In a letter dated July 2, 2003 the Tribal Council challenged the

validity of the US Army Corps of Engineers' Memorandum of Agreement and 404

permit, and demanded a Cease and Desist order on the project. The California Native American Heritage Commission also made a strong

request to halt the project on July 2, 2003.

"Instead of halting the destruction of these sacred sites, Catellus brought in more earthmovers and speeded up their grading of the burial grounds",

stated Leslie Purcell of the Ballona Ecosystem Education Project.

Kathy Knight, Chair of the Airport Marina Group Sierra Club said, "Just because the Indian burial area does not have crosses and grave stones

does not mean that it should not be respected. Can we imagine Catellus bulldozing one of our cemeteries? It would be unthinkable."

The Gabrielino Indians have been living in the Los Angeles area for

approximately 10,000 years. The West Bluff is the only upland bluff supporting the Ballona wetlands which are in the process of being acquired by the State of California. Catellus Development Corp. has approved plans to build 114 luxury homes on the 32 acre bluff top. (grading hours are M-F, 7-12 and 1-3)

For copies of Council and Heritage Commission letters call (310)



2. Welcoming all to another gathering at the top of the West Bluff.

This Sunday, 13th at 3:00pm.

Bring folding chairs, water, something for the alter if you want and, of course, come with a peaceful and prayerful attitude.Directions from 405: Take the 90-Marina Freeway west to Lincoln Blvd. Go left (south) on Lincoln (HWY 1) over Ballona Creek channel, through Ballona wetlands (Playa Vista on left). The West Bluff will be ahead on the right. Go up the hill past Loyola Marymount University (on the left).

Turn right on 83rd St go 2 blocks to stop sign at Rayford, turn right. Goleft following the fence to the top of the hill.Hope to see you all then,

In Peace,


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