Caltrans Celebrates Native American Communities


District: District 7
Contact: Lauren Wonder
Phone: (213) 897-3656

Culture and Contributions Continue Today

Los Angeles — The history, culture and contributions of Native American tribes in California continue to the present day, and Caltrans celebrates the people and their work which are an intrinsic part of this state’s fabric. From fishing to finance, crafts to construction, and training to trade, Native American people are a thriving part of California.

Recently, Caltrans District 7 celebrated the contributions of four Native American tribes and 20 communities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. In this latest edition of Caltrans News Flash, you’ll explore a museum exhibit titled, “We are (Still) Here; Indigenous Peoples of Los Angeles & Ventura Counties” featured the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians – Kizh Nation, and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

“We wanted to bring awareness of our Native American partners today and asked them to facilitate an understanding of their culture and history,” said Mariam Dahdul, Environmental Planner and Archaeologist for Caltrans District 7. “In a largely modern urban environment such as District 7, it is often all too easy to overlook the rich indigenous heritage of this region.”

As a transportation agency, Caltrans’ mission is rooted in protecting the safety and mobility of the traveling public; but at the same time, the Department maintains its stewardship values and takes seriously its obligation to consider the effects of our transportation projects on the environment, not the least of which includes tribal heritage sites that may be significant to California tribes.

The museum exhibit was a great reminder of the importance of considering the unique knowledge and expertise that tribes possess about their ancestral lands in our approach to the identification and treatment of significant tribal heritage sites in the context of transportation project development.

The coordination between Caltrans’ Cultural Resources specialists and the tribes who are culturally affiliated with the District 7 region for the exhibit underscored the benefits of collaboration among the Department and tribal governments in fostering positive historic preservation outcomes and raising awareness of tribal heritage considerations in the context of transportation development.

Caltrans News Flash #217

This video can also be viewed here: Native American Exhibit - Caltrans News Flash #217

This News Flash is the 217th in a series of videos highlighting Caltrans’ activities that present the wide-ranging and critical work that Caltrans does to enhance California’s economy and livability. To see more of these and other videos, search for #CaltransNewsFlash on Twitter or go to Caltrans News Flash.