After nearly 200 years, the Tongva community has land in Los Angeles County. It has been fighting for it for decades and it may now have to fight for it all over again — this time with the help of the county.
The Tongva, or Tongvik people, live, work and play on lands they have claimed throughout Los Angeles County and in some places beyond. They have been at the forefront of a long controversy over the future of these lands.
Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (LAPD) Director Jim Allen, who has spent decades negotiating with the local Tongva community, said the state’s lands in the county need to be properly surveyed and administered for future generations to have a future.
“It’s a big part of the future of our county,” Allen said. “The Tongva people have been on these lands for so long and it’s really important that we do the proper thing there.”
Allen has been part of a long-standing process for gaining legal recognition of these lands and has been working with the Tongva in recent months.
As a member of the Tongva Tribal Council, Allen said he understands that the community has grown weary with the decades of legal battles fighting over its rights to these lands. The community wants some assurances now when the State of California has given almost all of these lands to the county, and Allen has been negotiating with the federal government to ensure that the land does not become a federal wildlife refuge. He said the state also needs to be consulted.
“It’s a big deal here,” Allen said. “The state, the county and the federal government have already decided that these lands should be ceded to the county. We just need to make sure we do what’s right for [the Tongva people].”
State attorney general Kamala Harris, who is representing the