We are the first people of northern Los Angeles County. Our villages, government, and culture pre-date the establishment of Mission San Fernando, established on September 8, 1797, from which our ancestors received the name Fernandeño. Our villages encompass the four valleys of Simi Valley, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, and Antelope Valley. Our Tribe, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, is a coalition of our villages that formed the historical Fernandeño Indian Tribe and continues to be united under a Tribal constitution.
Under Mexican rule in the 1840s, we owned and maintained several land grants that were held in trust by the Mexican government, including Rancho Escorpion (Chatsworth), Rancho Encino (Encino), Rancho Cahuenga (Burbank), Rancho Tujunga (Tujunga), which were meant to be preserved in the American period. However, land in northern Los Angeles County, particularly areas with natural water sources, became extraordinarily valuable, and the local state courts were against our ancestors’ claims to the land, which made it impossible for the San Fernando Mission Indian defendants to affirm rights to land that would have formed the foundation for a reservation. Today, although dispossessed of our homelands, the majority of our Tribal citizens live and/or work near our traditional villages. To learn more, click here.