Monday, Governor Newsom signed Pasadena Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation that renames the Route 210 Foothill Freeway and requires the California Department of Transportation, through the erection of highway signs, to identify locations of historical and cultural importance to the California tribes local to or historically located along Route 210.
The bill specifies that Route 210 shall be known and designated as the “Southern California Native American Freeway” or by the name developed by the local Native American community.
Southern California tribal cultural affiliations along the freeway include Cahuilla, Chumash, Gabrieleno/Tongva, Fernandeno/Tataviam and Serrano.
“All along Route 210, an unseen history has gone unacknowledged for decades. It is too easy to jump in your car and cruise down the 210 without thinking of the sacred lands once untouched by modern industrialism. It is not only important to continue fostering change but also to acknowledge the vital impact of change, and whose immeasurable suffering played a part in where we are today,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.
Mona Morales Recalde, representing the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, expressed gratitude to all elected officials who worked diligently on this legislation.
“This bill is important to the Southern California Native American Community because it provides visibility of our continued presence. Acknowledging this route acknowledges our ancestors who established the route, we are the First People of Los Angeles,” Morales said.
Assemblymember James Ramos, who co-authored AB 776, also thanked Holden for introducing the bill. He underscored the importance of increasing awareness of the millennia-long and continuing presence of California Native Americans in the state and in Southern California in particular.
“I especially appreciate that Assemblymember Holden requires Caltrans consultation with area tribes so that they have a voice and input in the sharing of their history and contributions,” said Assemblymember James Ramos.
AB 776 is another step in California’s effort to increase the visibility of Local Tribes in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, Holden’s office said.