Haramokngna originally opened in 1998 with a Special Use Permit from Angeles National Forest. Converted from a former fire station, the cultural center provides an exhibit space that tells the story of the five tribes of the San Gabriel Mountains: Tongva, Tataviam, Chumash, Kitanemuk, and Serrano. These five tribes are explored through their pre-European contact relationship with the land and each other via trade routes through the mountains.
Haramokngna sits on Red Box Saddle in the Angeles National Forest. It sits in the middle of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail, historically named for the Native populations who were relocated to the San Gabriel Mission. The area was a resting spot on the trek from the desert to the sea or vice versa through which trade was accomplished. Pre-contact local tribes came here to gather the bounty of the mountains (acorn, game, pine nuts, etc.) and renew community ties.
Today there are more people of American Indian descent living in the greater Los Angeles area than in any other urban setting, most having been uprooted and relocated from indigenous and reservation lands. Through Haramokngna and working closely with our elders, we have created a significant land base in Los Angeles to serve the American Indian need to reconnect spiritually, culturally, environmentally, and socially. Whereas, community members will be the ones to take on the leadership roles in providing education to the public and groups on issues, practices, crafts, and conducting workshops while providing for healthy future generations.
Haramokngna hopes to continue to grow and be a positive influence within our communities, the forest, and to the visitors who continue to pass through these historic trade routes.