Opinion: Eviction of tribal remains is wrong

"Over the last few months, one of the largest American Indian burial grounds ever found in California — or the nation — has been rising out of the earth in West Los Angeles, more than 275 bodies at last count. You can see the site from Lincoln Boulevard — those big green tents on land that developers mean to turn into an Edenic stream, open space for the 13,000 people who will populate the master-planned Playa Vista community.

Each day more resting places of Los Angeles' original inhabitants, those we know as the Gabrielino-Tongva, are being exposed and their bones brushed clean. Rib cages and skulls, basketry remnants and personal goods are sifted from the dirt. Some of the remains are 4,000 years old; some date from the days of the Spanish missions. Each is laid in a cardboard banker's box — stacks of them fill metal shipping containers — to be reinterred someplace else.

It is all being done as competently, rapidly, legally and as quietly as possible. By the time most of us get around to realizing what has happened, Los Angeles will have lost its last, best chance to suitably memorialize these people, and to redress, in even a small way, a criminal chapter in our history — the eviction and decimation of California's native peoples."

Get the Story:
Peter Nabokov: City Is Losing a Part of Its Soul in Playa Vista (The Los Angeles Times 6/7)

Work at California burial site disturbs some (06/02)
Developer continues to remove tribal remains in Calif. (04/05)
Developer won't halt work at tribal burial site (03/22)