On December 15, 2016, Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr. and Chairman of the Council of Elders Alan Salazar met with Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Archambault II in West Hollywood, California.

Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians President Rudy Ortega, Jr., Chairman Dave Archambault, and Chrissie Castro, Vice Chair of the LA City/County Native American Indian Commission. Photo courtesy of Wishtoyo Foundation.

Prominent leaders, members, and elders of local tribes including Freddie Romero of Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and Julia Bogany of the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, attended this private gathering to meet with the Chairman and welcome him to Western Gabrielino (also known as Fernandeño) lands.

Chairman for the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians Council of Elders, Alan Salazar presents Chairman Archambault with a traditional gift. Photo courtesy of Wishtoyo Foundation.

The gentle, yet powerful words of Chairman Archambault gently vibrated the walls of the Depart Foundation, where the Welcome Ceremony was held.

The Chairman shared updates about the pipeline, and the resulting militarized violence inflicted by police on his people and all people protecting the water. The Chairman also shared honest and humbling personal stories regarding his coping with the events associated with the pipeline.

L to R: Alan Salazar, Chairman of Elders for Fernandeño Tataviam, Rudy Ortega Jr., Tribal Presdient for Fernandeño Tataviam, Julia Bogany, Cultural Specialist for Gabrieleno/Tongva, Freddie Romero, Cultural Resources Director of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Photo property of Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. 

Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr. had the opportunity to tell the Chairman, leader to leader, that he supported the Standing Rock Sioux and all the decisions made by Chairman Archambault.

The two and half-hour meeting was adjourned as the Chairman was pulled for his panel with Robert Kennedy Jr., Jane Fonda, and others. The conversation can be viewed here