Tongva Family Festival

Tongva Family Festival

As part of a collaboration with the Tongva community, the museum is proud to present a Tongva Family Festival on Saturday, May 27 from 12 pm to 4 pm.  

Join us to learn more about the island's original inhabitants. During the festival, attendees will enjoy readings, demonstrations, and interactive activities using tools, basketmaking, and native cooking, followed by a discussion panel. Members of the Tongva community will share about their life on the island and their community today. The event includes Tongva cultural educators, members of the Chia Café Collective, and members of the Ti'at Society. During this free event, you'll also have time to visit the museum's galleries. 

2 pm - Reading of Waa'aka by author Cindi Alvitre

2:30 pm - Discussion Panel with Cindi Alvitre, Lazaro Arvizu, Jr. and Abe Sanchez - If you are unable to attend in person, this panel discussion will also be live streamed on the museum's Facebook page that day for viewing.

Participating Members of the Tongva Community:

Cindi Alvitre - Mother, grandmother, fiber artist, writer, storyteller, and traditional singer. She is the co-founder of the Ti'at Society, the traditional maritime community of Tongva descendants affiliated with the southern Channel Islands. She teaches American Indian Studies at Cal State Long Beach. In 1985, she and Lorene Sisquoc co-founded Mother Earth Clan, a collective of Indian women who created a model for cultural and environmental education, with a particular focus on traditional art. 

Cindi will also share an art project related to the book. 

Lazaro Arvizu, Jr. - Artist, educator, musician, and researcher. Born and raised in the Los Angeles basin, he is knowledgeable of the land and cosmology of the Gabrieleno. Lazaro has worked for over 20 years facilitating creative and meaningful learning experiences to people of all ages and walks of life in many venues. He will share an interactive display of Tongva tools and technology, including soapstone, wood, and mammal bone to produce tools such as basketry awls. 

Abe Sanchez (Purepecha) - Founding member of the Chia Café Collective, co-author of Cooking the Native Way, and a community educator. His work focuses on the revitalization of California's indigenous food ways, working with the community to decolonize their diets by gathering, cultivating, and cooking native plants. He hopes by bringing traditional foods back to the table, we can combat diet-related diseases in Native communities.

Abe will be focusing on Acorn. He will have tasters and demonstrate on the cultural use of acorn among native people in the southwest.

The Chia Café Collective is a grassroots group dedicated to honoring all the indigenous peoples of Southern California and their connection to the land and native plants. Working with various agencies, organizations, schools, and tribal communities, the Collective offers Native food workshops and classes; gathers, processes, and distributes plants to elders and others; and transplants native plants in areas slated for development, cultivating them in gardens in order to share seeds and cuttings.

Jessa Calderon - artist, Indigenouz Gemz, Tina Calderon (Gabrielino Tongva/Chumash/Yoeme) - Culture bearer, Gabriella Lassos - IYEJ Program Director at Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, and Virginia Carmelo will demonstrate basketmaking.

This event is free for all to attend. We do ask that you register so we can properly accommodate everyone. 


Date & Time

May 27, 2023 @ 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM


217 Metropole Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704 View Map

Contact Information

Name: Kellie Costello

More Details