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four people stand around a table examining items laid out on the table

(Left to right): Karimah Richardson, Associate Curator of Archaeology and Osteology at the Autry; Cindi Alvitre (Tongva); Desiree Martinez (Tongva); and Craig Torres, (Tongva) at the Autry Resources Center.

Gabrielino/Tongva Relationship

He’uurore hyoo’eya horuura’ Carrying Knowledge into the Future Memorandum of Understanding

The Autry and Gabrielino/Tongva Cultural Educators of the Los Angeles Basin Announce Memorandum of Understanding


After years of collaboration, the Autry Museum of the American West and the Gabrielino/Tongva Cultural Educators of the Los Angeles Basin are proud to announce they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize their partnership. It is the first official step for the Autry and Gabrielino/Tongva to begin the sharing of information and expertise through effective, respectful consultation and ongoing communication.

“This important relationship has been years in the making and creates a path forward for a collaborative relationship between the Autry and the Gabrielino/Tongva Cultural Educators,” said Joe Horse Capture, the Autry’s Vice President of Native Collections and the Ahmanson Curator of Native American History and Culture. “During the process of creating this MOU, we lost two important Knowledge Keepers who had a profound impact on this relationship. We want to acknowledge the influence and dedication of Gabrielino/Tongva Cultural Educators Barbara Drake and Julia Bogany.” 

The MOU could be summed up with the Tongva phrase he’uurore hyoo’eya horuura’ or carrying knowledge into the future. Through this partnership, the Autry is positioned to better serve the Gabrielino/Tongva community, the first peoples of the land on which the museum resides. The agreement emphasizes the Autry’s commitment to educating both its staff and the public about Gabrielino/Tongva people and culture, both past and present.  

"This is the first time that a Los Angeles museum has acknowledged they are on Gabrielino Tongva lands and are committed to working with our community experts to create programming that honors our past and present,” said Desiree Martinez, Tongva tribal archaeologist and educator. “We are excited for the future possibilities.”

The MOU focuses on essential areas: 

  • The Autry as home to all members of the Gabrielino/Tongva. We encourage the use of the Autry as a gathering space for these communities.
  • Collaboration in creating a Land Acknowledgement for the museum campuses that reside on Gabrielino/Tongva lands. This will include acknowledgment before public programs, tours, and meetings, as well as educating Autry staff and volunteers about the museum’s presence on ancestral Gabrielino/Tongva lands. 
  • Caring for Gabrielino/Tongva sensitive items and material culture in the Autry’s collections. 
  • The Autry and Gabrielino/Tongva will work as partners to educate the public about the Gabrielino/Tongva’s past, present, and future through programming, educational materials, and exhibitions. 
  • Collaboration in caring for the gardens at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park and Resources Center in Burbank. 

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
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