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Land Back: Over 500 Acres of Ancestral Territory in North L.A. Returned to Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians

The Tribe’s history is deeply interwoven into L.A. County and beyond. Its land once spanned more than 1.5 million acres, extending from the Antelope Valley to the Pacific Ocean. By 1900, the Tribe was rendered “landless,” with their territory reduced to zero through unjust land dispossession by the United States.

In a historic move, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians tribe announced that more than 500 acres in northern L.A. county has been donated back to the Tribe.

“We are deeply grateful to Land Veritas and Tracey Brownfield for reconnecting us to our ancestral territory,” said Rudy Ortega, Jr., president of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. “The significance of this donation goes beyond property ownership. It’s a restoration of heritage and a commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Land Veritas is a woman-owned, California-based mitigation bank operator active in the environmental services sector since 2010. The firm owns two mitigation banks totaling over 4,500 acres in Southern California.

“Protecting this land and preserving its natural splendor from development have been personal priorities for me,” said Land Veritas president Tracey Brownfield. “I firmly believe there’s no better steward or protector of this land than the Tribe. Their profound respect for the environment and cultural legacy makes them the most deserving custodians of this cherished landscape.”

The Tataviam Land Conservancy intends to explore ways to further preserve the land in northern Los Angeles County adjacent to and beyond an existing environmental mitigation bank, including a permanent conservation easement. A small portion of the acreage includes unpaved roads and a building pad that the Tribe plans to use for educational instruction.

The Tribe’s history is deeply interwoven into L.A. County and beyond. Their land once spanned more than 1.5 million acres, extending from the Antelope Valley to the Pacific Ocean. By 1900, the Tribe was rendered “landless,” with their territory reduced to zero through unjust land dispossession by the United States government.

This announcement builds upon the Tribe’s recent historic agreement with California State Parks to formalize cooperation and collaboration in managing and protecting natural and cultural resources and interpreting state parks within the Tribe’s ancestral lands.

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