Gabrieleño San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians

P. O. Box 693
San Gabriel, CA 91778
Tribal website: https://www.gabrieleno-nsn.us

Young man with long hair in traditional regalia including bead and shell necklaces and black face paint with red and white dots fans an incense holder made of abalone shell and other natural materials with a fan made of feathers

Sage blessing of our history and continued presence by SGBMI Spiritual leader Andrew Morales

Welcome

We the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians (SGBMI) honor thousands of our ancestors who were placed under the servitude of the mission system and subsequent colonization by European settlers. We are the descendants who survived the enslavement, stripped of our existence, traditions, and land. We work tirelessly to remind politicians, educators, and the public that we are still here.

Group of smiling adults and children in traditional attire under a modern awning in a park

Tongva park performers (2013)

Color photograph of men and women in modern attire standing around a sign that reads: "Gabrielino Indians once inhabited this site, Puvungna, birthplace of Chungichnish, Law-Giver and God."

Elders standing by signage acknowledging Puvungna village and Chungichnish at CSULB . Our first tribal reburial after the Native American Hertiage Commission was formed in 1976. We were the first and only Most Likely Descendants (MLD’s) for the Gabrieleno/Tongva tribe. (January 1980)

Adults and children in a mix of traditional and modern attire standing in front of an entrance to a neoclassical public building with a banner celebrating the inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day for the City of Los Angeles

Tribal members participate in Los Angeles’s First Indigenous day (2017)

Dancers in traditional Tongva attire join hands with children in modern attire and Aztec dancers (danzantes) at a celebration in a park

Tribal Dancers interacting with the public in a circle dance Kuruvungna Sacred Springs, Santa Monica, California.

We have suffered the same atrocities as other tribes in California and across the United States, we have the same connection to the environment, retain similarities in our regalia, culture, traditions, and beliefs.

History has proven it is impossible to respect and honor a culture if you do not understand the history. We have been the recipients of an erased history that is being carefully and respectfully stitched back together. Our people and culture were almost wiped out of existence, three times within the past 249 years; in the wake of Spanish rule, the Gold Rush, and Anglo colonization. Survivors had two options: assimilate or run away to distant reservations. We survived the 1852 Bounty by California’s first Governor to kill and eradicate Native American men, women and children.

Sepia toned historical photograph of two long-haired men in traditional attire including headbands, aprons and necklaces stand with their arms crossed in front of a thatched house

Brothers, Ancestors and Tribal officers Joseph and Arthur Morales (SGBMI). Our First known Tribal dancers and participants in the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse Reenactment Plays.

Parade float designed to look like a mission building with fruit trees and a donkey cart loaded with baskets of flowers. Men and women on the float wear a mix of traditional Tongva and Hispanic or Mexican attire.

SGBMI Chief Anthony Redblood Morales and other tribal members participate in the Pasadena Rose Parade (2013 )

Black and white historic image of men and women in hats, bandanas, vests, boots and other items of Western wear posing seated in chairs with another row standing behind them. At right, two seated men hold a large glass bottle while two standing men behind them hold onto a white horse.

Front Row: Modesta Valenzuela Morales on the left, her sister Soledad on the right. Francisco Valenzuela (Father) to her left, including family and ranch hands (Circa Late 1800s)

The Interior Department acknowledged our existence by reaching out to Tribal Members who registered in the 1928 Indian Roll. This acknowledgement afforded The San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians to be included in the 46 Bands of Mission Indians under the Indians Claim Commission. Our tribe was a claimant in the Indian Claims Act of 1946 and disappointed with the outcome.

Sepia toned historic photograph of women and children in formal attire including lacy dresses and silk ties, seated and standing in front of a wooden house with a large hydrangea plant

Presentacion Lopez Morales, full blooded San Gabriel Band of Mission Indian ~ Gabrieleno/Tongva. Last known Morales family member to be fluent in our language. Modesta Valenzuela Morales on the far right.

Black and white historical image of 26 young women and girls in dresses standing in front of a woman building

San Gabriel Indian School (date unknown)

Sepia toned historic image of a large group of children and adults wearing Native costumes seated and standing in front of a white bulding. Text reads "La Fiesta de San Gabriel, Benita Bermudez De Burke, 1959"

Benita Bermudez De Burke gathered Gabrieleno/Tongva Children and others from the neighborhood yearly to represent the continued existence of our Tribe (1959)

We the SGBMI, occupy a territory with incredible land value. Los Angeles, Orange, and a portion of San Bernardino Counties, as well as the Southern Channel Islands. Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina, San Nicholas & San Clemente Islands. It is indisputable this large region was inhabited by the Gabrieleño-Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians.

The San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians has been specifically acknowledged by the State of California. We have also been recognized by the County of Los Angeles and the Cities of San Gabriel and Los Angeles. Our Tribe maintains contact with and in collaboration and partnership, with all departments at the city, county, state, and federal level for the advancement of Native related issues.

Seated man in traditional garment decorated with shells and feathers worn over modern attire

. Chief Anthony Red Blood Morales. Photographed at the San Gabriel Mission for publication in the O, My Ancestors book. Chief Morales has been the SGBMI Chief since 1992.

Group of adults and youth in a mix of modern and traditional attire including ribbon skirts, standing in front of a brick wall on a tile floor

Indigenous Day in Los Angeles along with members of the San Fernando, Fernandeno Tataviam (2021)

Facsimile of California State Assembly Resolution

Copy of the SGBMI California State Resolution. Chief Anthony Morales personally accepted the resolution on behalf of the SGBMI. The resolution acknowledges our existence without interruption. (1994)

Procession of three women in traditional attire including hide dresses, necklaces and headbands approach a table flanked by others in traditional dress. They are in an aquarium with an enormous fish tank, with the title "Blue Cavern: Presented by American Honda Motor Co., Inc."

Tribal members and dancers have participated in a yearly Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific event since its inception in 1998.

Women photographed from behind in a mix of traditional and modern attire march toward U.S. Capitol building with a banner showing Tribal seal and name (barely legible as reversed image showing through back of banner)

Tribal members participated in the Grand Entrance and Opening of the National Native American Museum in Washington D.C. (2004).

Large group of people in mix of traditional and modern attire representing Tribes from across the continent standing in front of the U.S. Capitol

Tribal Elder participated in the Elders photograph Infront of the National Capitol, Washington D.C. (2004)

Pope and Vatican official in traditional Catholic robes laughing as they converse with a man in modern attire with a Tribal necklace. Pope is holding a small bronze bell.

Chief Anthony Morales meets with Pope Francis in Washington D.C. (2015)

Many of our families, descendants of the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians Gabrieleno/Tongva continue to maintain residence in San Gabriel and the San Gabriel Valley/ Sibagna. All our members have been required to provide approved documentation to verify their Gabrieleno lineage. Gabrieleno lineage has been verified by their Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), by Historian Thomas Workman Temple II, and records from the San Gabriel & San Fernando Missions. Some of enrolled members were the first designated Gabrieleno Most Likely Descendants’ (MLD) in 1979, by the Department of the Interior. Despite the different names, there is only one San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians. The SGBMI has an unbroken historical record.

Book cover entitled The First Angelinos: The Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles, by William McCawley. An oil painting in color represents men and women in a mix of traditional and Hispanic or Mexican attire sitting and standing in front of a thatched house with a fire inside.

The First Angelinos – The Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles by William McCawley.

Book cover for O, My Ancestor: Recognition and Renewal for the Gabrielino-Tongva People of the Los Angeles Area by Claudia Jurmann and William McCawley, with foreword by Kevin Star. Image is a predominantly red and blue painting of a stylized woman looking up into a starry sky. She wears a headdress and her body is decorated with designs including handprints on her chest.

O, My Ancestor by Claudia Jurmain and William McCawley

Men and women in mix of modern and traditional attire standing under awning

From Left to right. Andrew Morales, Anthony Morales, Kimberly Morales Johnson, Vivian Morales Barthelemy, Arthur (Art) Morales, Photographed at the San Gabriel Mission for publication in the O, My Ancestors book.

We remain dedicated to preserving our existence, cultural preservation, traditions, education, and history. We have maintained our continued community and existence since 1771. We also continue to participate in land acknowledgments, recent Land back and Indigenous Day Ceremonies. We have shared the beauty of our Tribal dancers who have performed for public events since 1995.

Metal fence with large block letters reading "TONGVA PARK, 1615 Ocean Avenue" and city of Santa Monica seal. Palm and other trees and apartment building in background.

Tribal members and dancers participated in opening Tongva Park in Santa Monica (2013)

Granite plaque with image of woman with long, wave-like hair and a mural dedication. Dedication reads: "This mural, 'Between the Sun and the Moon,' is a tribute to a people who have lived in this region for more than 7000 years. Their descendants call themselves the Tongva, meaning 'people of the earth.' They are also known as the Gabrielino Indians, so named by the Spanish who employed Tongva workers to build and sustain the San Gabriel Mission. A prehistoric settlement is known to have been at Mud Springs, in San Dimas. The upper portion of the mural portrays a Tongva woman known as Juana Maria. She was the legendary Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island who had been stranded alone on that distant channel island of Southern California. When her island community was relocated by ship to the mainland, she stayed behind to search for her missing child. Her fate unknown, she survived 18 years in complete isolation until she was finally rescued in 1853. In this mural she symbolizes the courage, devotion to family, self-reliance and survival of the Tongva people. The lower sixteen panels narrate the annual cycle of Tongva life, rituals and divisions of the year."

San Dimas City Hall Monument to Juana Maria.

Wooden sign in park reading: sign that reads: "Gabrielino Indians once inhabited this site, Puvungna, birthplace of Chungichnish, Law-Giver and God."

Sign handmade by SGBMI Tribal member marking the sacred plot and historical site on the land of the Puvungna village and birthplace of Chungichnish

Adults in a mix of traditional and modern attire including veteran's forage cap and fur and feather headdresses standing next to a large carved stone with an inscription reading: "The Gabrielleno Tongva: I am part of the Ground, the Wind, and the Air. The spirit of the Gabrieleno Tongva flows through this sacred ground. Their souls rest in peace below this memorial. Our nation's debt to our Native American warriors can never be repaid. But their sacrifice will be remembered, celebrated and honored forever. With deep respect from one warrior to another, this memorial is dedicated to the Gabrieleno Tongva by the Department of California Military Order of the Purple Heart." Above: Tribal seal; below: seal of the Order of the Purple Heart.

The Order of the Purple Heart, Long Beach Veterans Administration Dedicate monument to the Tribe knowing they share the village of Puvungna site with CSULB. Accepted by Chief Anthony Red Blood Morales and SGBMI members.

Adults and youth in a mix of traditional and modern attire pose around a stone monument with a bronze frieze

The Tribe participates in Land Acknowledgment , Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve, Palos Verdes. A local citizen researched the history of this area and was responsible for this dedication. City and County Officials attended. (2021)

Stone monument with bronze frieze depicting historical Tribal members engaged in everyday activities in front of beehive-shaped houses. Title of text reads "The Tongva People."

Abalone Cove Monument, Palos Verdes, California

Photo collage featuring photographs and clay sculptures of World War II era veterans in their wartime uniforms and as elders. Text below wartime photographs reads "a tribute to WWII verterns." Text below sculptures of elders reads "war & peace & clay." At center is one clay scultprue of a man captioned, "Joseph Morales, Gabrieleno/Tongva, Battle of the Bulge WWII, POW ~ Stalag 12A" Bottom center shows Tribal seal with dolphins, basket and shells.

War & Peace: A group of Los Angeles artists acknowledged a cross-section of WWII veterans in clay. Ancestor Joseph Morales was chosen to represent the Native American community. Joseph fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery. He was captured while conducting a perimeter check. He escaped and was recaptured 3 times. He observed all the atrocities of the Nazis while being forced marched to Stalag 12A

We encourage you visit our website: www.gabrieleno-nsn.us to explore our well documented history and our photo gallery located under the tool bar labeled Our History.

Two young women in traditional attire including hide dress and bead necklaces march in parade with a banner that reads: "Gabrielino Tongva: Let us walks softly on this earth for our ancestors and all living things, great and small, remembering as we go that one creator, kind and wise, created all.

Participating & Representing our Tribe at a Fourth of July parade, Claremont Calif.

Adults and youth in traditional attire including hide aprons, necklaces and headdresses in a park. Men are using clapper sticks and singing while two young women hold American flags of different sizes.

Participating and representing our Tribe at a Fourth of July parade, Claremont Calif.

Man in traditional attire including fur headdress, necklaces and hide shirt uses a clapper stick while singing as youth in traditional attire follow him. Text at top reads "Kuruvungna Village Springs: Gabrielino-Tongva Springs Foundation" above buttons for web links Home, About Us, etc.

Kuruvungna Sacred Springs, Santa Monica Calif. Gabrieleno Tongva Springs Foundation formed 1991 by Tribal member Angie Dorome Behrens.

Children dancing in traditional attire including headbands, necklaces, furs, and hide clothing with shell and bead decorations. Boys in foreground are using clapper sticks to beat out a rhythm while they dance.

Tribal children performing at the Autry Museum (2009)

Men and women in a mix of modern and traditional attire including necklaces and feathered headdresses descend a rocky slope in crepuscular light following a circular standard made of sticks and feathers and colored red, black, white and gold. The procession passes through a landscape of native plants and an arrangement of three yelllow-and-brown striped poles topped with feathers.

Opening for Naming Ceremony, Santa Fe Dam, Irwindale. An area known to be an Ancestors gathering area.

Photo of children and adults in a mix of traditional and modern attire seated and standing in a concrete plaza with trees and umbrellas behind them.

Tribal Elder Julia Bogany honored by the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific as Chief Anthony Morales had done in the past for contributions to the Native Community. Julia and Chief Anthony Morales photographed with members of their families and Tribal members.

We are referred to and known as:

Historical records have recognized four names for our tribe or band: Gabrieliño, Gabrieleño, San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians (SGBMI), Tongva (a name introduced in the late 1960s).

San Gabriel Band of Indians (We are the original & only.)
Gabrielino
Gabrieleno
Gabrieleno/Tongva
Tongva

Sitting on a log on a rocky surface surrounded by plants, a woman shows a piece of braided foliage to a young girl. They wear a mix of traditional and modern attire. Nearby there are gourd rattles, fringed clothing made of hide and a plastic bin of crafting supplies.

Tribal leader Kimberly Morales Johnson instructs Ellie Morales Recalde in the process of making a Tule reed doll. Kimberly and Ellie were asked to represent Gabrieleno/Tongva’s relationship to the Los Angeles River. (2020)

A circle of people in both traditional and modern attire including headdresses, necklaces, aprons and grass skirts watch a group of dancers in regalia performing in front of a large thatched house with painted decorations around the doorway.

Heritage Park Santa Fe Springs. The City of Santa Fe Springs dedicated a section of the park for us to build village replica. (1999)

Women, a girl and a young man standing beneath an awning in traditional attire of various Native groups

Tribal members participate in inter- tribal Gabrieleno/Ohlone Native American Fashion show, Pomona Calif.

Selected media clips:

Facsimile of newspaper article entitled "Gabrieleno Indians Want to Be Remembered." Photo shows a man with white hair standing in front of a monument in a garden with a plaque reading: "This cross is raised in memory of the 6,000 Indians buried within the confines of these mission walls." Article quotes Fred Morales on his ancestry and the contributions of Native people to the mission.

San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians Chief Fred “Sparky” Morales standing by statue and cross in San Gabriel Mission courtyard. The monument acknowledges the reported 6000 ancestors buried on Mission grounds (Los Angeles Times, 1980)

Facsimile of newspaper article entitled "Cal Poly simulates rainforest." Image shows dancers in traditional regalia with headdresses and feathered fans on a walkway.

Religious leader Andrew Morales and Tribal members bless Cal Poly Rainbird BioTrek Project.

Text of Argonaut newspaper article "WESTCHESTER/PLAYA DEL REY: Gabrieleno/Tongva Indians Set To Be Reburied At Playa Vista." Article cites plans to rebury 400 ancestors and Tribal leader Anthony Morales' objections to a developer's handling of the remains, as well as involvement of councilman Bill Rosendahl in effort to repatriate them.

Playa Vista news article

Text of Argonaut newspaper article "WESTCHESTER/PLAYA DEL REY: Gabrieleno/Tongva Indians Set To Be Reburied At Playa Vista." Article cites plans to rebury 400 ancestors and Tribal leader Anthony Morales' objections to a developer's handling of the remains, as well as involvement of councilman Bill Rosendahl in effort to repatriate them.

Playa Vista Article

Text of article from UPI Archives dated October 9, 1984, titled "Archeologists have discovered a lost Indian village..." Text details how the excavation, monitored by Gabrielino descendant Fred Morales, uncovered a 3,000 year old site in Encino.

Article on the Lost Village of Encino found during development. SGBMI were designated the Most Likely Descendants, MLD’s for this site by the NAHC (1984)

The NAHC has also known our Tribe by the following names:

Gabrieleno Tribe of Indians
Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians