A state commission in charge of protecting indigenous resources will revisit on Friday their consideration for opening an investigation into whether Cal State Long Beach has communicated in good faith with tribal groups about Puvungna, a sacred Native American site at the campus.
The Native American Heritage Commission, a governor-appointed agency, has accused CSULB of misstating and misrepresenting the commission’s position and role in facilitating the communication between the university and tribal groups.
The commission had postponed their vote on opening an investigation due to lack of research, according to the commission.
CSULB has been accused by tribal groups of failing to communicate with them regarding the 22-acre Puvungna site, which tribes use for cultural gatherings and religious ceremonies.
All of CSULB was built on land that tribes considered to be part of Puvungna, which was a village and place of creation and burial site for the indigenous people who lived there. Now, indigenous nations say they use the remaining 22 acres of undeveloped land along Bellflower Boulevard for ceremonies and spiritual gatherings.
The long-running controversy over Puvungna also includes a lawsuit filed by tribal leaders against CSULB over the dumping of construction dirt. The trial’s next court date had been postponed to Sept. 17.
Friends of Puvungna, a local advocacy group, gathered this month at the Bellflower Boulevard entrance of the university for prayers, tribal dances and songs. The group has been continuing to use the land and hold rallies from time to time to raise awareness of the controversy surrounding the sacred site.
NAHC’s meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on via Zoom or phone here.