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About Rudy J. Ortega, Jr.

Tribal President, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians

Rudy Ortega, Jr. is the Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, a native sovereign nation of northern Los Angeles County. As the elected leader of his Tribe, Ortega Jr. oversees the governmental body and manages affairs pertaining to the rights of all Fernandeño Tataviam tarahat (people).

Ortega Jr. is a member of Siutcabit, the lineage of present-day Encino, CA. His ancestors come from the villages that originated in the geographical areas of Santa Clarita Valley, Simi Valley, and San Fernando Valley. His great-grandfather Antonio Maria Ortega, from whom he receives his traditional role as tomiar or leader, fought in Los Angeles Superior Court in the 19th century to preserve traditional lands and protect Native title to Mexican land grants from encroaching settlers. His father, the late Rudy Ortega Sr., served as the previous leader of the Tribe for over fifty years and was elected to the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission in 1977. Following his father’s leadership, Ortega Jr. was appointed to the Native American Indian Commission by Mayor James Hahn in 2004, where he serves today as a commissioner.

From 2004 – 2018, Ortega Jr. invigorated the Tribe’s non-profit Pukúu Cultural Community Services as the Executive Director. Through this role, he served the greater Los Angeles County American Indian community and oversaw Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center. Through his seat as Tribal President, Ortega Jr. helped establish the Tataviam Land Conservancy, Paséki Strategies Corporation, and a co-management agreement with the City of San Fernando for Rudy Ortega Sr. Park.

Currently, Ortega Jr. is Chair of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., a member of the Los Angeles River Master Plan Steering Committee, Santa Clarita Watershed Recreation and Conservation Authority, Edison Consumer Advisory Panel Board, and the Climate Emergency Mobilization Committee appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.