Indian Tribe, Hayden Mark Passage of Preservation Bill

Members of the Gabrielino-Tongva Indian tribe joined state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) Wednesday at a Westside high school to celebrate passage of a bill that helps preserve natural springs on campus that are of tribal importance.

Clear spring water surfaces in a dozen locations on the campus of University High School, which is built on the site of an ancient Indian village, said Angie Dorame Behrns, president of the Springs Foundation.

The group, most of whose members are of Indian descent, has been working with Hayden since 1993 to obtain funding for preservation of the springs.

On Monday, Gov. Pete Wilson signed Hayden-sponsored SB 1956, providing $50,000 for maintenance of the springs.

Also under the bill's provisions, a task force will study the feasibility of creating a center on campus dedicated to the culture of the Gabrielino-Tongva Indians, the earliest inhabitants of the Los Angeles area.

Hayden said he hopes to approach the Legislature for additional funding once the task force develops a proposal for the site.

University High officials and several students also attended Wednesday's gathering.

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