ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians collaborated with Arid Lands Institute in efforts to provide awareness to water and energy conservation!

Ceremonial leader Kim Marcus leads Tataviam with Serrano Bird Songs. Photo by Scott Arnold, SRA

The event, Connect the Dots, kicked off with a family-friendly bike ride called Tour de Van Nuys, which was followed by a two-hour Bike Rodeo that successfully educated youth on how to ride safely in Los Angeles. Vendors lined up Van Nuys Blvd to join in the climate-resilient Block Party. The Tribe held a cozy booth, which was set with pamphlets to explain the indigenous connection with & history behind San Fernando Valley, and most importantly: land.

Noli Ortega, Tomiear Ortega, Ray Rivera, Ceremonial Leader Kim Marcus, Tribal Secretary Mark Villaseñor, Mike Villaseñor, Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr. sing Bird Songs while members of the audience dance.

Noli Ortega, Tomiear Ortega, Ray Rivera, Ceremonial Leader Kim Marcus, Tribal Secretary Mark Villaseñor, Mike Villaseñor, Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr. sing Bird Songs while members of the audience dance. Photo by Scott Arnold, SRA

“…the singers of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians reminded us of water’s centrality to every dimension of life:  the life of the body, the landscape, the mind, and the spirit.” -Hadley Arnold, Executive Director, Arid Lands Institute

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Left: Tribal Secretary Mark Villaseñor. Right: Noli Ortega and Tomiear Ortega. Photo by Scott Arnold, SRAPhoto by Scott Arnold, SRA