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“You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men abuse the ground, they abuse themselves.” Chief Seattle

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, 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.

We pray and support people such as Gary Johnson, who has the heart, understanding and concern for what is sacred. Gary has incredible story and relationship with this area. We ask all people to join us as caretakers in this collaborative effort, to be vigilant, we ask the creator to help us in this quest.

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In 2005, avocational archaeologist, Gary Johnson, discovered an unrecorded Native American site in Rolling Hills Estates on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Once he realized that this large site was a significant discovery, he contacted professional archaeologist, Carl Lipo from California State University at Long Beach, to verify his findings and assist him in recording the site into the archaeological record.  The site, recorded in 2009, is now designated as CA-LAN-3863, also known as Thunderhawk Hill. 

            Cultural resources discovered at the site include stone choppers, scrappers and projectile points.  It has been estimated that 99 % of the raw materials used to make these tools came from local sources. Objects recovered include several varieties of local chert, sandstone, quartz, flint, soapstone, river rock and imported obsidian from the Coso Volcanic Field.  Obsidian was hydration tested and was dated to approximately 3000 BCE.

            Local tribal leaders have also been contacted and they have verified that the location is an historic Tongva habitation area, and they support future scientific research at this site.  CA-LAN-3863 is located on Palos Verdes Land Conservancy property and they are aware of the recent findings and they too support further research. 

            Mr. Johnson has now focused his attention on another parcel in Rolling Hills Estates where development, which includes 114 new single family homes, a reconfigured 18-hole golf course, and a new approximately 61,000 square foot clubhouse and related facilities are planned.  The 225.5-acre project site is located on the existing sites of the Chandler Quarry and Rolling Hills Country Club (26311 and 27000 Palos Verdes Drive East) in the northeasterly portion of the City of Rolling Hills Estates.  The proposed development is located adjacent to CA-LAN-3863.

            As the plans for the Rolling Hills Country Club/Chandler Quarry site moved forward, McKenna et al of Whittier were hired and they conducted an EIR in 2006. The public comment period for the draft EIR commenced on May 1, 2009 and ended on June 30, 2009.  Their report acknowledges that human remains were discovered in the proposed project area and were reported by D.L. True in 1960.  Upon conducting a phase II investigation of the area where human remains were reported, the following statement was written in the EIR.

According to the Phase II testing program conducted by McKenna et al., the site appears to have been inaccurately mapped. However, although the site does not exist at its reported location, it may exist within the confines of the immediate area. Mitigation Measure CULT-1 should be implemented to ensure that no impacts to human remains interred in informal burial grounds occur.

 

CULT-1 suggests that an archaeological monitor and a Native American monitor work on site when the development gets under way to ensure that human remains are properly documented if found.  Ultimately, McKenna’s recommendation in the report regarding the disturbance of human remains in the project area was, “ Less than significant with the incorporation of mitigation measures.” 

 

             Mr. Johnson is concerned, that at the time that the EIR was written the existence of CA-LAN-3863 was unknown to McKenna et al, and that this company did not fully investigate the existence of human remains on the Rolling Hills Country Club/Chandler Quarry project site.  Mr. Johnson and members of the Tongva tribe, would like to see the area reinvestigated as they are concerned that appropriate testing procedures were not conducted by McKenna et al in areas where human remains are likely to be found. 


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