Publication DateSkip to Main Content
Adopted by the Diversity Committee on Feb. 10, 2022
Presented to the Pierce College Council on March 24, 2022
Land Acknowledgement Statement
We, the community of the Los Angeles Pierce College, acknowledge that we reside, or work, on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, and the neighboring homelands of the Gabrieliño/Tongva/Kizh ancestors. The original people of Los Angeles defined their world as Tovaangar (To-VAA-ngar), which extended over the entire Los Angeles basin including the four southern Channel Islands. The Tongva/Kizh were enslaved to build the San Gabriel Mission in the City of San Gabriel and the San Fernando Mission in the City of Los Angeles. The Spanish hispanicized Kizh to Kicherenos, and then used Gabrieleños, after relocating the San Gabriel Mission in 1774.
On the western edge of Tovaangar, the San Fernando Valley was at the crossroads of cultures and languages, including Tongva, Fernandeño (Tataviam), and Chumash. The Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians is the historic tribe of ancestral villages from San Fernando, Santa Clarita, eastern Simi and Antelope Valleys. Reflective of this indigenous heritage, we still use Tongva words such as Topanga, Cahuenga and Azusa; Tujunga and Pacoima are words from the Tataviam, to name a few examples. In 1994, the State of California officially recognized the “Gabrielino-Tongva” Tribe. The Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians is recognized by the State of California as a sovereign Indian nation but has yet to receive full federal recognition. Los Angeles now has the largest population of Native American and Indigenous people of any city in the United States and was a relatively early adopter (2017) of “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
We acknowledge that the land of California belongs to nearly 200 tribal nations. We recognize the past and present resilience of all indigenous communities, in the face of systemic dehumanization and settler colonialism. A land acknowledgment is a humbling first step towards public intervention, decolonization, and reconciliation. We commit ourselves to honor Native land (#HonorNativeLand), and build meaningful relationships with indigenous peoples, to restore their cultural heritage and sovereignty.
We, the community of the Los Angeles Pierce College, acknowledge that we reside on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, and the neighboring homelands of the Gabrielino/Tongva/Kizh peoples. A land acknowledgment is a humbling first step towards public intervention, reconciliation, and social justice. We must commit ourselves to honor Native land (#HonorNativeLand), to build meaningful relationships with indigenous peoples, and to restore their cultural heritage and sovereignty.
For more, please visit: https://www.tataviam-nsn.us/landacknowledgment/
You can also donate to Pukúu, Cultural Community Services at
This statement, which may change as we consult with the Tataviam people, was composed by Mario Macías, as co-chair of the PCC Diversity Committee.
We call on all individuals and organizations to open public events and gatherings with acknowledgment of the traditional Native inhabitants of the land.
Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth. Imagine this practice widely adopted: imagine cultural venues, classrooms, conference settings, places of worship, sports stadiums, and town halls, acknowledging traditional lands. Millions would be exposed—many for the first time—to the names of the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of the lands they are on, inspiring them to ongoing awareness and action.