The Countywide Cultural Policy provides direction and guidelines for how Los Angeles County and its departments will ensure that every resident has meaningful access to arts and culture. The intent of the policy is to foster an organizational culture that values and celebrates arts, culture, and creativity; strengthens cultural equity and inclusion; and integrates arts and culture in LA County strategies to achieve the highest potential of communities and constituents across all aspects of civic life. The Cultural Policy calls for the County to "identify ways to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land at County public events and ceremonial functions and celebrate the contributions of culture bearers and traditional arts practices of diverse communities."

Timeline

  • October 5, 2021: A motion by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis, and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, directed the Department to partner with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission (LANAIC) to hire a consultant to facilitate meetings with local tribal leaders that would lead to the development of a formal Land Acknowledgment for the County.
  • December 28, 2021: After an open solicitation process, Cogstone Resource Management, Inc. was selected to facilitate engagement with tribal leaders and members of the American Indian and Alaska Native community in the service of creating a set of proposals for Land Acknowledgment and Land Access policies, protocols and toolkits for the County. Joining Cogstone in this work is Kearns & West and Avid Core, LLC.
  • March 30, 2022: The first engagement session with a working group comprised of local tribal leaders takes place.

Background

In recent years, Los Angeles County has been active in both uplifting the true histories of what is now known as Los Angeles County and prioritizing equity for communities countywide. The inequitable access to County-owned lands for the region’s American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population negatively impacts their physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and cultural health. Tribal engagement on these issues at the local level is critical to the development and maintenance of equitable and culturally just local land use policies and procedures that improve access to parks, beaches, recreational waters, public lands, and public spaces for AIAN people to observe cultural, traditional, and religious practices.

In fall 2021, the County, through the LA City/County Native American Indian Commission and the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, embarked on a process to gather input that will update its understanding of the region’s Indigenous history and the harms that have been perpetuated to advance truth, healing, and transformation, and to gather input on the development of a formal land acknowledgment for the County, the latter of which is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022.

Our aim is to counter the destructive "doctrine of discovery" with true stories of the people who were already here and to actively engage in repairing relationships and restorative collaboration with Native communities.

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