[Photo caption: Jesus Alvarez is senator for the Tataviam Land Conservancy and a financial aid assistant at CSUN. Photo by Lee Choo.]

“Be the descendant your ancestors would be proud of.” 

The phrase coined by Winona LaDuke — an environmentalist and author focused on tribal rights — refers to the importance of a covenant relationship between two parties, a reciprocal relationship where both acknowledge each other as equals and take care of each other.

According to professor Scott Andrews, director of CSUN’s American Indian Studies Program and member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, this is how Native American people understand their relationship with the land and each other. It’s also the kind of relationship CSUN is working toward achieving with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, the historic tribe of northern Los Angeles County, whose ancestral territory includes the land on which the university is built.”

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