Officials join Native Americans in honoring COVID victims and celebrating winter

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Local officials joined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Electricity and the Fernandeño Tataviam Mission Indian Band in the Chatsworth Nature Reserve on Tuesday to honor those who have died of COVID-19 and celebrate the Solstice of ‘winter.

“As First Peoples, my tribe is no stranger to pandemic epidemics in our home countries,” said Rudy Ortega Jr.

“Two hundred years ago my great-great-grandmother Maria and hundreds of tribesmen lost their lives in a pandemic, and today we have lost more of our loved ones to COVID-19. In their honor, we come together in our ancestral village of Jucjauyanga to celebrate our winter solstice and pray for the good health, well-being and spirit of our communities.

Los Angeles County reported 25 more virus-related deaths on Tuesday, bringing the county’s total number killed during the pandemic to 27,473. A total of 805,112 people nationwide have died from the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday’s event in honor of the victims included special welcoming songs for Native Americans Fernandeño Tataviam and Chumash and a prayer circle.

“I am grateful to tribal chiefs Fernandeño Tataviam and Chumash for bringing us together today to honor those we have lost and reaffirm our connection to this place and to each other,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“We all share the trauma of the almost two-year-old, but as we mark the shortest day of the year, we know spring is coming and we will come out stronger than before,” the mayor added. .

Garcetti and Ortega Jr. were joined by State Senator Henry Stern, D-Los Angeles, Chairman of the Council of Los Angeles Water and Electricity Commissioners Cynthia McClain-Hill, and Councilors Municipalities of Los Angeles, Mitch O’Farrell and John Lee.

The event was a rare opportunity for attendees to see the region’s wildlife, plants and trees, as Chatsworth Nature Reserve is closed to the public to preserve its habitat.

The property is owned by LADWP and originally served as the site of a reservoir fed from the San Fernando Reservoir. It was withdrawn from service in 1972 after being found vulnerable to earthquakes. In 1997, Los Angeles City Council renamed it Chatsworth Nature Preserve, creating the city’s first nature reserve.

“We are delighted to welcome the community to the Chatsworth Nature Reserve for this very special event, celebrating the change of seasons and recognizing our collective responsibility for the well-being of our community and the environment,” said McClain- Hill. “I want to thank our partners, the Fernandeño Tataviam Tribe, who led the community in prayer, for honoring those we have lost due to COVID-19 and helping us find peace and solace in admiring the magnificent sites that the reserve has to offer. . “

Officials join Native Americans in honoring COVID victims and celebrating winter was last modified: December 21, 2021 through Contributing editor

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Nohemi M. Moore