The foundational work of the Native American Advisory Council, which represents various descendant communities in Southern California including Gabrieleno-Tongva, Tataviam, Chumash, and Ajachmem, is rooted in determining ways to build a sense of welcome, acknowledgement, and respect for Native people who enter this space and opportunities to remind, express to and educate visitors that Los Angeles is on Native land.

Members include:

  • Cultural educator and traditional Chumash textile artist Tima Lotah Link, Schmuwich
  • Chumash Artist and activist L Frank Manriquez, Tongva / Ajachmem / Rarámuri
  • Archaeologist Desireé Renee Martinez, Tongva, Tíat Society 
  • Mark Villasenor, Tribal Senator, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians
  • Samantha Morales Johnson, Gabrieleno-Tongva Band of Mission Indians

The Council’s Native American community leaders are working closely with NHMLAC staff and Studio-MLA to advise on the NHM Commons’ Community Plaza entry and landscaping to incorporate aspects that acknowledge the unceded lands in Los Angeles County and honor the communities of Native Americans who call Los Angeles their home.


The NHM Commons Advisory Coalition is a group of community leaders identified and recruited by NHMLAC’s Programs and Community Engagement teams to help develop new programming and community initiatives leading up to the opening of NHM Commons and beyond.

NHM Commons Advisory Coalition members will consult on community collaborations for future theatrical and public programming, as well as topics and content ideas relevant to their communities.

The members of the Coalition are:

  • Betty Avila, Executive Director, Self Help Graphics & Art
  • Dr. Carroll J. Brown III, Director, Fostering Resiliency Project (FRP)
  • Paula Cizmar, Resident Playwright, Environmental Justice and professor of theater practice at USC School of Dramatic Arts
  • Jewel Delegall, Chief Program Officer, A Place Called Home
  • David Levine, Chief Creative Officer, Anonymous Content
  • Karen Mack, Executive Director, LA Commons
  • Samantha Morales Johnson, Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Conservancy Land Return Coordinator, Gabrielino Tongva Band of Mission Indians
  • Dr. Yewande Pearse, neuroscientist, science communicator and business analyst
  • Jacob Pratt, Producer and Director at Skoden Entertainment
  • Mark Rose, Recreation Supervisor, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and Expo Center
  • Katherine Yeom, Executive Director, Korean American Family Services.