The sky is the limit for the Tejon Tribe. After decades of struggle, we are in control of our Tribe’s destiny.
Today, after centuries of past and present Tejon leaders’ efforts to ensure our tribal family remained connected, we persist in the pursuit of honoring our ancestors’ prayers: that our people remain as in the old days — a functioning Tribe, caring for each other, our community, and our ancestral lands.
Healthcare, education, and housing are top priorities for our Tejon Tribe’s leadership. Our goal is to be entirely self-reliant as a community. We do not want to depend on the state or county to provide a service that we ourselves as a Tribe now have the opportunity to create, maintain and sustain.
Our Tejon Indian Tribe now provides services to our members. Programs and assistance include medical referrals, career services, social services, a food pantry, and child welfare programs.
We are moving forward with comprehensive plans for our tribal members, which include a future health clinic, and we would like to open our own school one day as well.
We have acquired the old Meridian School building in Mettler area. That will be used for Tribal programs, one wing will be used as a repository for artifacts, documents, historical papers and photos. The building will also house an “elders’ room,” a cultural center, and recreational facilities.
Achieving re-affirmation as a Tribal Nation changed the capacity of our people to develop and structure government-funded tribal programs to provide necessary health, education, and housing services to our Tejon tribal members.
Our Tribe is governed by a Tribal General Council (all voting adult members), and a Tribal Executive Committee, which includes a board of elders, who advises the tribal leadership in decision-making and adjudication. This structure is outlined in the Tribe’s Constitution and Bylaws.
At the time of federal recognition, Tejon Tribal Chair Kathryn Montes Morgan received informal feedback that about 80 percent of the members at that time indicated they would like to move onto tribal land, if a new reservation was established.
We now have a chance for a new beginning. We are working to build Tribal government in a way that delivers overdue services, while creating the infrastructure to make services sustainable for the long term.
Our Tribe has faced many challenges retaining our culture over the years, and we are committed to reconnecting with our heritage.
We are re-acquiring Tejon artifacts, and we have established a repository to collect them. We have begun an effort to revive the unique Kitanemuk language. And we plan to develop our own Cultural Center, so future generations can be proud of who we are and what we have accomplished.
As Tribal members, we are proud to be part of the Tejon Indian community and pleased that federal recognition of the Tribe was made official in 2012.
Once the Tribe secures a reservation on tribal lands, policies and procedures will be implemented to protect and preserve the land, water, and cultural resources and promote the health, safety and welfare of all tribal members.