Gabrielino Recognition

Support Gabrielino’s BIA Recognition

 In 1936, the Bureau of Indian Affairs initiated a program called the “Affidavit Degree of Indian Blood,” later the program’s name changed to “Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB).” This program acknowledged all California Indians, including the Gabrielino.

In 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs ceased from issuing further CDIB’s to those affiliated with non-federally recognized tribes. However, this was inconsistent with decades of past practice and policy. Even though an agency can terminate public policy, notice must be provided. Here, no notice was provided to Native Americans affiliated with non-federally recognized tribes or State recognized tribes.

Specifically, this Bureau of Indian Affair document is needed for services in California. For decades, the BIA, including local newspapers, have declared the Gabrielino dead and extinct. This was also inconsistent given that the Bureau of Indian Affairs maintains the judgment rolls for the Gabrielino people.

In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) challenging the inconsistencies of the agency. (18-CV-2128-GW-AGRx). 

Failure to recognize those not federally recognized, contributes the erase of many cultures and struggles. Displacement has made it extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to obtain services and/or be recognized. This has also opened doors for other groups to defame and discredit us even though most of us can prove our lineage through supportive documents in BIA records.

The Gabrielino were involved in Indian Claims Commission Act proceedings. The federal approval of attorney contracts for Gabrielino, however, in the context of Solicitor White’s comments regarding the recognized status of tribes that could have attorney contracts approved, provide further of Gabrieleno’s recognition. But not to the eyes of the BIA. The Recognition thru the State of California in 1994 has been insufficient to have a voice in tribal politics. 

During the past couple years due to the lack of recognition, other nearby tribes have taken ownership of our sacred sites, sacred objects, human remains, and objects of cultural patrimony. We have been struggling to have a voice in our own lands and we are now demanding the Government to be recognized and have a voice.

The suit is being led by Emilio Reyes, a Gabrielino-Tongva Indian. Emilio is also a genealogist and researcher, and Founder of Indigenation and Tongva Times, a movement dedicated to protect American Indian rights and the integrity of tribal culture, language, and identity.

All funds collected will be used for attorney costs, legal fees, legal research, and other related costs, and in the case that there might any funds left, those funds will be donated and be used for tribal purposes of the Gabrieleno/Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, led by Chairman Anthony Morales. 

 If you’d like to support this cause , please donate, no amount is big or small, all support is truly appreciated. Thank you in advance and hope you can share this link.

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Emilio Reyes
Los Angeles, CA

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