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 CARETAKING OF THE LAND-Mother Earth belongs to herself.

"As sons and daughters we have a commitment and obligation to care for our Mother Earth.

We the Tongva/Gabrieleno, of the Los Angeles Basin have been bestowed by the Creator this mandate to care for our Homeland-Kii-Toovar on Mother Earth, we are the gateway to North America, which creator has placed us here since the beginning of time." Strong Wave Warrior

 

When developers and public agencies assess the environmental impact of their projects, they must consider "historical resources" as an aspect of the environment in accordance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines section 15064.5. These cultural features can include Native American graves and artifacts; traditional cultural landscapes; natural resources used for food, ceremonies or traditional crafts; and places that have special significance because of the spiritual power associated with them. When projects are proposed in areas where Native American cultural features are likely to be affected, one way to avoid damaging them is to have a Native American monitor/consultant present during ground disturbing work. In sensitive areas, it may also be appropriate to have a monitor/consultant on site during construction work.

A knowledgeable, well-trained Native American monitor/consultant can identify an area that has been used as a village site, gathering area, burial site, etc. and estimate how extensive the site might be. A monitor/consultant can prevent damage to a site by being able to communicate well with others involved in the project, which might involve:

1. Requesting excavation work to stop so that new discoveries can be evaluated;
2. Sharing information so that others will understand the cultural importance of the features involved;
3. Ensuring excavation or disturbance of the site is halted and the appropriate State laws are followed when human remains are discovered;
4. Helping to ensure that Native American human remains and any associated grave items are treated with culturally appropriate dignity, as is intended by State law.

By acting as a liaison between Native Americans, archaeologists, developers, contractors and public agencies, a Native American monitor/consultant can ensure that cultural features are treated appropriately from the Native American point of view. This can help others involved in a project to coordinate mitigation measures. These guidelines are intended to provide prospective monitors/consultants, and people who hire monitors/consultants, with an understanding of the scope and extent of knowledge that should be expected.

Native Americans have always professed being caretakers of their ancestral lands, even in these times of colonialization, we see ourselves as the first environmentalist/friends of the earth. In more cases than not our ancestral lands have been abused, destroyed and desecrated. These disrespectful acts or contemptuous treatment of our lands, which is held to be sacred by our people, are often times over looked by many developers. Archeologist/Anthropologist/Contractors/workers and unsanctioned monitors are compromised or paid to look the other way. We are hoping with education that what is left of our ancestral lands that a mutual understanding can be achieved, that no one has the right to destroy history, a history that should be shared by all. We recognize that the legacy, the unwritten stories, lies in grounds of our Mother Earth. This is our history and must be protected for future generations.

We recommend contacting and contracting, Chief Anthony Morales and or son Adrian, they are our tribal monitors when any kind of development is going on anywhere in the Los Angeles Basin, which includes the Palos Verdes Peninsula and 4 sacred islands (Catalina Is., San Clemente Is., Santa Barbara Is., San Nicolas Is.), which is our Ancestral Lands. Especially if any kind of indication of a potential sacred sites, such as burial grounds or artifacts may be found. The tribal monitors work with, but not limited to, archeologists and the developers for the best possible outcome. The only sanctioned tribal monitors are from tribe-Tongva/Gabrieleno of the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians. They are the only recognized tribe by the courts of Los Angeles and the State of California of the Los Angeles Basin and are also registered with the State of California's Heritage Commission.


CULTURAL RESOURCES:
AN OPPORTUNITY NOT A PROBLEM
Developers can receive benefits from cultural resources in several ways. First, the public benefit of data recovery projects can be publicized. An archaeologist with the appropriate experience can use public participation for the benefit of the resources and the developer in a variety of ways. For example, the public enjoys visiting archaeological sites; tours of a large data recovery project can go a long way in promoting community goodwill for a development project. Sometimes a community would like to see exhibits on the history of the area, often using placards or signs, incorporated into the design of the development project. The critical factor is to find the ways in which the community would like to participate, and to incorporate their goals into the design of the cultural resources project. The archaeologist managing such a project must have past experience in working with the public and the press. The good press and community good will which can come from this type of project have obvious benefits to the developer. 
 
Developers can receive benefits from cultural resources in several ways. First, the public benefit of data recovery projects can be publicized. An archaeologist with the appropriate experience can use public participation for the benefit of the resources and the developer in a variety of ways. For example, the public enjoys visiting archaeological sites; tours of a large data recovery project can go a long way in promoting community goodwill for a development project. Sometimes a community would like to see exhibits on the history of the area, often using placards or signs, incorporated into the design of the development project. The critical factor is to find the ways in which the community would like to participate, and to incorporate their goals into the design of the cultural resources project. The archaeologist managing such a project must have past experience in working with the public and the press. The good press and community good will which can come from this type of project have obvious benefits to the developer. 

 There can also be economic advantages in preserving or incorporating cultural resources in planned developments. These advantages usually take the form of tax credits or tax incentives. On the federal level, a tax credit of up to 20% is offered for the rehabilitation of significant historic buildings. These buildings must meet the following criteria:

  1. They must be included on the National Register of Historic Places or meet state certification criteria;
  2. The rehabilitation must be done to the Secretary of the Interior's standards; and
  3. The planned use must be income-producing.

The California Office of Historic Preservation can offer guidance to developers on evaluating their property's eligibility for the federal tax credit program.

Other incentive programs may apply to a particular property; it is recommended that developers discuss this issue with the appropriate planning agencies for their particular project. For example, other programs may include benefits for granting easements (see above for conservation easements), for rehabilitating facades, and for easing zoning requirements.

The Discovery of Native American Human Remains 

The following actions must be taken immediately upon the discovery of human remains:

Stop immediately and contact the County Coroner.
The coroner has two working days to examine human remains after being notified by the responsible person. If the remains are Native American, the Coroner has 24 hours to notify the Native American Heritage Commission.
The Native American Heritage Commission will immediately notify the person it believes to be the most likely descendent of the deceased Native American.
The most likely descendent has 48 hours to make recommendations to the owner, or representative, for the treatment or disposition, with proper dignity, of the human remains and grave goods.

If the descendent does not make recommendations within 48 hours the owner shall reinter the remains in an area of the property secure from further disturbance, or;

If the owner does not accept the descendent's recommendations, the owner or the descendent may request mediation by the Native American Heritage Commission.

Discuss and confer means the meaningful and timely discussion careful consideration of the views of each party

- Partial List -

Antiquities Act of 1906

An act for the preservation of American antiquities.
Authorizes the President to designate as National Monuments those areas of the public domain containing historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and objects of historic or scientific interests located on federally owned or controlled lands. The act further provides criminal sanctions for the unauthorized excavation, injury, or destruction of prehistoric or historic ruins and objects of antiquity. The Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Defense are authorized to issue permits for archaeological investigations on lands under their control to recognized educational and scientific institutions for the purpose of systematically and professionally gathering data of scientific value.
www.usbr.gov/laws/antique.html

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

An act to establish a program for the preservation of additional historic properties throughout the nation.
Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to maintain aNational Register of Historic Places; directs the Secretary to approve state historic preservation programs that provide for a State Historic Preservation Officer with adequate qualified professional staff, a state historic preservation review board, and public participation in the state program; authorizes a matching grants-in-aid program to the states; directs federal agencies to take into account the effects of their activities and programs on historic properties; establishes the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to advise the President, Congress, and federal agencies on historic preservation matters; gives the Advisory Council the authority to issue regulations instructing federal agencies on how to implement Section 106 of the act; establishes the Certified Local Government program; establishes a National Historic Preservation Fund program; and codifies the National Historic Landmarks progain.
www.usbr.gov/laws/nhpa.html

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

Declares that it is the policy of the federal government to preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of the Nation's heritage. The act further requires an interdisciplinary study of the impacts associated with federal program. Federal agencies must prepare environmental impact statements prior to making decisions about projects which may significantly affect the quality of the human environment.
www.afbca.hq.af.mil/handbook/basis/regs/ceqregs.htm

Native American Religious Freedom Act of 1978

An act setting forth a policy of protecting and preserving the rights of Native Americans to Freedom of Religion.
Makes it a policy of the federal government to protect and preserve for American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Native Hawa11ans their inherent rights of freedom to believe, express, and exercise their traditional religions. It allows them access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rites.
www.usbr.gov/laws/airfa.html

Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979

An act to amend the Antiquities Act of 1906.
Regulates the taking of archaeological resources on federal lands by setting a broad policy that archaeological resources are important for the nation and should be protected. The act further establishes a requirement for the excavation or removal of archaeological resources from public or Indian lands with special permits. Violations of the law include civil and criminal penalties of fines and imprisonment.
www.usbr.gov/laws/arpa.html

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990

An act to provide for the protection of Native American graves.
Requires federal agencies and recipients of federal funds, such as universities, museums, and governmental agencies, to document Native American human remains and cultural items within their collection, to notify all Indian tribes and Native Hawa11an organizations that are or are likely to be affiliated with these holdings, and to provide an opportunity for the repatriation of appropriate human remains or cultural items. Cultural items include associated and unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.
www.usbr.gov/laws/nagpra.html

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