Says planned Playa Vista park will recognize Native American ancestors

To the Editor:

The Sierra Club’s Airport Marina Group, in calling for a Gabrielino-Tongva cultural center and reburial site at Playa Vista, is apparently unaware of the touching ceremony last year that reinterred the Gabrielino remains discovered there.

They were reburied at the direction of Robert Dorame, the “most likely descendent” of the original occupants of Ballona in conformity with ancient ceremonial rites.

Since then, a few more remains have reportedly been discovered and they are only awaiting the instructions of Dorame to be reburied in accordance with tribal tradition.

As for recognizing the Gabrielinos at Ballona, that is already planned as part of the Discovery Park, set aside within the development in accordance with Friends of Ballona Wetlands’ settlement agreement.

There will be a replica Gabrielino canoe and a beautiful meeting place as well as a written history of Ballona which will include not only these original inhabitants, but the story of conquest, re-conquest, and displacement that echoes America’s past.

The centerpiece of the Discovery Park will be a demonstration wetland ecosystem and a native plant garden, plus exhibits and games that will educate the public about the value of wetlands so that when they tour Ballona they will have a deeper understanding of their irreplaceable value. Major contributions by Loyola Marymount University and Playa Vista have made this new park possible.

Ruth Lansford, Founder, Friends of Ballona Wetlands, Marina del Rey