Heritage

History

Timeline
Pre-Mission

The distinct community of the present-day Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (FTBMI) originated in the lineages, villages, and culture of the pre-Mission period. Mission San Fernando was established on September 8, 1797 at the village of Achoicominga and, for years following, enslaved our ancestors from the traditional villages in the geographically surrounding area, ranging from present-day Simi Valley and Malibu in the west, Cahuenga and Encino in the south, Tujunga in the east, and the present-day Tejon Ranch in the north. Before the founding of Mission San Fernando, our ancestors in the region lived in autonomous lineages within villages. These tribal lineages, or tribelets, consisted of speakers from the Takic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language, who intermarried with individuals from other linguistic groups within the area, as well as strengthened economic, social, and cultural relations with those outside of their language group by practicing exogamy. Each lineage held territory and maintained political and economic sovereignty over its local area, but was also linked through social exchange to neighboring villages and lineages.

Historical

Timeline

The Historical Timeline is an interactive timeline designed to provide important dates of the the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (the FTBMI) community and history from time immemorial to present. Please note that this is not, and is not intended to be, an all-encompassing history of the FTBMI.

Time Immemorial

The ancestors settled in autonomous lineages...
Read more

450 C.E.

Creation stories tie our ancestors to the land since time immemorial. Anthropologists have dated the migration of our ancestors....
Read more

1797

SPANISH PERIOD BEGINS: Marks the beginning of recruitment and enslavement ...
Read more

1820

The landowners in Alta California in the 1820s ...
Read more

1821

SPANISH PERIOD ENDS, MEXICAN PERIOD BEGINS...
Read more

1834

The Mexican Secularization Act of 1834.....
Read more

1839

Mission Indians voice their concerns over land grants...
Read more

1839

On January 22, 1839, the Alta California Governor Juan Bautisto...
Read more

1840

By 1840, Tiburcio Cayo, a San Fernando Mission Indian...
Read more

1843

Governor Micheltorena distributed Mission assets...
Read more

1843

Jose Miguel Triunfo (San Fernando Mission Indian)...
Read more

1845

In 1845, Triunfo traded the 388 acres at Rancho Cahuenga...
Read more

1845

Roman, Roque, and Francisco petitioned and received...
Read more

1846

Governor Pio Pico sold half of Ex-Mission San Fernando...
Read more

1846

END OF MEXICAN PERIOD, AMERICAN PERIOD BEGINS...
Read more

1848

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo...
Read more

1850

In the 1850 US census, there are about 130 Indians...
Read more

1851

Leandra Culeta's great uncles, Vicente and Francisco Cota, became prominent chiefs...
Read more

1854

In 1854, Eulogio de Celis recovered the northern half...
Read more

1860

In 1860 the Los Angeles Star reported: “The war of extermination...
Read more

1870

Miguel Leonis acquired the adobe on a ranch in Calabasas (present-day Leonis Adobe), and entitlement...
Read more

1871

Registration of captain Rogerio Rocha’s 10 acres...
Read more

1872

In 1872, the de Celis family sold their
Read more

1873

Santiago Garcia is an ancestor to Tataviam and was killed by a grizzly bear...
Read more

1875

Anglo-Americans moved into the El Escorpion ...
Read more

1876

On July 1, 1876, a group of 7 Indians took over some land on the old mission and ejected Porter and ...
Read more

1878

Senator Maclay suit against Rogerio Rocha, Antonio Maria Ortega, et al. for removal from San Fernando...
Read more

1882

In 1882, the Garcia lineage was evicted...
Read more

1885

Maclay visited Rocha with a Los Angeles sheriff...
Read more

1885

In 1885, U.S. Special Attorney for Mission Indians...
Read more

1886

Porter and Maclay bring suit to evict Rogerio...
Read more

1889

Leonis died and denied Espiritu being his wife in his will; she fought for 16 years in court and rec...
Read more

1889

U.S. Indian Agent to the Mission Indians...
Read more

1892

Perris Indian School in Perris, California, ...
Read more

1892

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney recommended that the federal government take action to Fernandeño land rights...
Read more

1896

March 20, 1896 letter to the U.S. Attorney General, Lewis ....
Read more

1904

H. N. Rust, a former Special Agent to the Mission Indians...
Read more

1906

The Fernandeños during this time qualified as a landless band, composed of decentralized, yet inter...
Read more

1906

Many Fernandeño Tataviam children...
Read more

1910

High number of Fernandeño men enlisted in the U.S. Army during the World War I....
Read more

1912

Alfred Kroeber begins his spotty research with Tataviam Indian Juan Jose Fustero...
Read more

1916

Ethnologist J.P. Harrington records a Jaminate (Kitanemuk language) name: tátaviat ...
Read more

1928

California Indian Judgment Act: compensation provided to California Indians of the 18 un-ratified tr...
Read more

1928

In the 1928 California Roll, the Garcia lineage...
Read more

1932

Bureau of Indian Affairs Sacramento Indian Agency seeks verification of Fernandeño community member...
Read more

1933

Ethnologist J.P. Harrington's notes on June 9, 1933 state:
Read more

1940

Rudy Ortega Sr. introduced by-laws...
Read more

1952

Mission San Fernando Indians decided to organize and elected Rudy Ortega Sr. as chairman....
Read more

1968

Amended California Indian Judgment Act; the Ortega family joins the Garcia and Ortiz families of the...
Read more

1971

The San Fernando Mission Band of Indians files a claim of establishing a Indian reservation with th...
Read more

1973

San Fernando Mission Indians created a non-profit named the San Fernando Valley Inter-Tribal, Inc. (...
Read more

1976

The San Fernando Mission Indians adopts bylaws
Read more

1985

Rudy Ortega Sr., Charlie Cooke, and tribal members of the San Fernando Band Mission Indians ...
Read more

2009

Tribe begins negotiating with City of San Fernando...
Read more

Historical

Pre-Mission

Linguistic speaking groups did not form political entities.

The social organization of California in general, and southern California in particular, is composed of a regional network of lineage communities that trade, share ceremonies, and intermarry. This regional pattern existed in the pre-Mission period, as far as scholars can reconstruct, and many principal aspects of the regional network and lineage communities continue to define the social and political patterns of the present-day Fernandeños (Mission San Fernando associated Indians); but all southern California tribes share similar social and political patterns. It is essential to understand the social and cultural organization of the Native lineages that populated the San Fernando Mission as well as the region for centuries if not longer before the missions were established. Before significant European contact, the lineages that were enslaved at Mission San Fernando after 1797, were independent, decentralized, uni-lineal kinship groups. Political recognition with each other came from mutual respect of boundaries, and agreed upon rules of ceremonial activities, economic exchange, as well as political cooperation and respect. Anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, writing in the 1950’s called this form of social and political organization a “tribelet.” Kroeber says:

(T)hese tribelet units, with around 200 to 300 members, were the basic political and social units in native California Indian life. Ultra-miniaturized as they were, they nevertheless constitute the nearest equivalent to the State or Nation among ourselves. This is true in the sense that, just as what in Europe is called the State, but in this country the Federal government or the Nation — just as this state or Nation does not recognize any authority or power superior to itself, and is supreme and autonomous, so in native California these tiny tribelet units recognized no superior authority, but were self-governing, independent, and land owning.

Since each lineal shared a common ancestor, kinship members could not marry inside, and therefore married eligible individuals from other lineages, which often spoke different languages. The region that composes the recruiting ground for Mission San Fernando included the territory of present-day San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley, Catalina Island, Malibu, parts of northern Los Angeles, and other contiguous areas. At least 130 named Native settlements provided slaves to the Mission San Fernando. The region before contact was multi-lingual, multi-cultural, decentralized, and based upoon lineages that were interconnected and mutually supporting through networks, marriages, ceremonies, and trade. Linguistic speaking groups did not form political entities. It is a fundamental error to conflate language groups with political and social groups, especially in California, where such groups are not the same. Each linguistic group was internally composed of independent lineage groups that held territory, and political autonomy from all others, whether linguistically related or not. When the Spanish missionaries arrived they encountered an active regional multi-cultural economic, political, and ceremonial network, where the Natives respected cross-lineal rules and obligations, and where land, economic resources, and political leadership were established and carried on for many centuries. Pre-contact ancestors of the Tribe recognized each other’s land, ceremonial, kinship, and political relations. Recognition in the pre-contact period came from the respect of mutual rights and obligations observed among the regional network of lineages.

Lineage-community.

 

There appears a certain bias in the literature in favor of the village community over decentralized lineage communities, perhaps because the lineage communities are less familiar. Nevertheless, throughout the historical and contemporary period, lineage communities continue to be the primary form of social and political organization among reservation and non-recognized California Indians. The literature suggests that the post-contact period shows a movement away from lineage communities toward the village community or multi-lineal community. The appearance of multi-lineal or village communities is certainly an observable pattern. However, it is important to distinguish between the formation of an externally required village community (Missions, Reservations, etc.) as opposed to the formation of a village community based on internal consensus. The present-day Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians is a voluntary village community, composed of a coalition of three lineage communities that retains the integrity of each constituent lineage community.