After nearly 200 years, the Tongva community has land in Los Angeles County and is facing a land-use fight that could upend their culture. The Tongva, who are members of the Tongva Nation, are a mix of Indian and African tribes and live on Santa Anita Ranch and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. They are fighting a proposal to build six condominiums, retail and residential space alongside a proposed golf course and restaurant.
But what do Tinga means when they use their own word for the community?
Tinga is Swahili for “community” or “people.” They use the word in their own way: as a place of people for people.
The residents of the Tongva Nation are in Santa Anita Ranch because they want to preserve their culture.
In fact, the Tongva are known to be the original natives of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, where they built the town of Palos Verdes Estates and the city of Palos Verdes. They were also the ones who first opened a Native school in California.
They were not always one and the same. The Tongva Nation is composed of two separate tribes: the Tongva and the Ojibwe. The Tongva Nation is a tribal organization and not a sovereign nation.
The Ojibwe lived on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and on the Santa Anita Ranch until the 1900s. The Tongva lived on the Palos Verdes Peninsula until the 1900s, when they were pushed south by the Ojibwe. They then moved to the Santa Anita Ranch.
As members of the Tongva Nation, we know where the history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula goes.
The Palos Verdes area — including the land we’re fighting over — came to California’s attention when it was used to hold Native people in slavery.
The land was bought by Andrew Dickson Burnham, who was an avid golfer and developer.
Burnham, an investor, was so interested in developing properties on the Palos Verdes Peninsula that he began searching for a group of Native Americans, who would be willing to relocate to the area to make it a better community.