Environment | National

Construction work halted at Gabrielino burial ground in California





Work on a cultural center in downtown Los Angeles, California, has been halted due to the discovery of a cemetery with the remains of Gabrielino and other tribal ancestors.

Approximately 300 Gabrielinos and other Indians are buried at the site. Another 300 are descendants of the pobladores, the group of people who founded the modern day city of Los Angeles in 1781.

Work on the La Plaza de Cultura y Artes began last October. Some remains were found but no one notified the affected tribes until additional ancestors and artifacts were uncovered.

"We want them to stop and preserve this area as a cemetery," Andy Salas, who is Gabrielino, told The Whittier Daily News. "Why did they have to pull up a hundred-some bodies? We're not going to tolerate this anymore.

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a Mexican cultural center, is affiliated with the Smithsonian.

Get the Story:
Descendants of first Angelenos add their voices to complaints about burial excavations downtown (The San Gabriel Valley Tribune 1/18)
Gabrieleno Indians protest excavation of cemetery where ancestors likely buried (The Whittier Daily News 1/15)
Work stops on excavation at old cemetery in Los Angeles (The Los Angeles Times 1/15)
Excavation at L.A. Museum Halted, Simple Internet Search May Be Cause (KCET 1/14)

Join the Conversation