State commission to wait on considering an investigation into CSULB’s handling of Puvungna

A state commission tasked with protecting indigenous resources said it will hold off deciding whether to open a formal investigation into whether Cal State Long Beach properly sought communication with tribal groups regarding Puvungna, a sacred Native American site at the campus.

The California Native American Heritage Commission, a governor-appointed agency, said their staff still needs to collect more research before proceeding.

“The NAHC staff … are continuing their research concerning their options available to the commission as an agency to address the present concerns to this matter,” said the commission chair, Laura Miranda, during a virtual meeting on Friday.

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.

The long-running controversy over Puvungna also includes a lawsuit filed by tribal leaders against CSULB over the dumping of construction dirt.

Miranda said the commission will revisit the Puvungna matter in an upcoming commission meeting, possibly as soon as its July 16 meeting.

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at