On February 27, 2017, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians joined in the special celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony of Chumash Park and Trail, a 2.5 mile long trail in Simi Valley.

The Tribe has had a long relationship with the land of Chumash Park that pre-dates the establishment of Mission San Fernando in 1797. In Simi Valley existed a ranchería named Ta’ápu, which in Fernandeño most likely referred to abalone. The present-day road of Tapo Canyon seems to have received its name from the Spanish translation of Ta’ápu: Tapo. 

"The Fernandeño say Ta'ápu, but the Spanish form is Tapo...Fernandeño ápu means abalone." (J.P. Harrington, Reel 106-071:3:3)

Of the three lineage currently enrolled in the Tribe, the people of the “Ortega lineage” descend from Ta’ápu directly. Tiburcio Cayo (1793, born into Ta’ápu), eventually received Rancho Encino from ex-Mission San Fernando in the Mexican period. He married Teresa (1797, baptized at Cahuévit or Cahuenga, but her mother belonged to Siutcabit or Encino) in 1810. Of their three surviving children, Paula Cayo (1813, born at San Fernando Mission), the oldest, married Tataviam Indian Francisco Papabubaba in 1827 and inherited her father’s honorific expression “Cayo” as a surname.  Their daughter Maria Rita Alipaz eventually took over the ranchería at Encino and welcomed Fernandeño Indians onto her property, which was eventually seized by a Spanish settler. Her descendants would later be known as the “Ortega lineage.”

On February 27th, members of the Ortega lineage, Tribal Secretary Mark Villaseñor, Tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr., and Chairman of the Elders Council Alan Salazar (pictured above) provided a traditional blessing to honor the ancestors and ensure people use the park in a good way.

In 2016, the tribe provided monitoring for soil disturbance to prevent destruction of potential tribal cultural resources during excavation for Chumash Park and Trail. Today, the tribe welcomes its citizens to continue to enjoy their ancestral space.