Press Release


Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and UC Santa Cruz Remove Mission Bell from Campus

June 14, 2019

The El Camino “Mission Bells” are historic markers that memorialize the California Missions and an imagined route of travel that once connected them. These bell markers are viewed by the Amah Mutsun and many other California indigenous people as racist symbols that glorify the domination and dehumanization of their ancestors. After two years of planning and negotiations, UC Santa Cruz and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band removed this hurtful symbol from the UCSC campus in a moving event attended by over 150 community members, students, faculty, and tribal members. You can read the full press release here, and see news coverage of the event here.


Amah Mutsun Tribal Chairman Speaks at United Nations to Call for Protection of Tribal Sacred Site from Surface Mining Proposal

April 12, 2018

Chairman Valentin Lopez of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band announced today that he will speak on the floor of the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, April 17th, during the 17th Session of the United Nation’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Chairman Lopez will be calling the world’s attention to the proposed sand and gravel mining proposal at Sargent Ranch in Gilroy, California Located on the southern border of Silicon Valley. The site, known to the Amah Mutsun as Juristac, is the location of the tribe’s most sacred ceremonies and home to its spiritual leader, Kuksui. Read more.



Midpen approves agreement with Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
for natural resource and cultural conservation at Mount Umunhum

December 14, 2017 

Los Altos, CA— The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s board of directors unanimously approved a cultural conservation easement over 36 acres atop Mount Umunhum with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band at a special public meeting December 13. 

The easement grants the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, made up of descendants of indigenous people taken to Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz, permanent rights to help steward the mountaintop for natural resource conservation, cultural relearning and public education in partnership with Midpen. Mount Umunhum is a sacred site to the Amah Mutsun people and is central to their creation story.  Continue Reading.



January 13, 2017

The Amah Mutsun Land Trust is very pleased by the news that President Obama has, by Presidential Proclamation, included Cotoni-Coast Dairies property as part of the California Coastal National Monument. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band was an important part of the organizing effort to support this designation. The Cotoni-Coast Dairies property, located near Davenport in Santa Cruz County, contains significant cultural and ecological resources and was home to the Cotoni people, whose descendants are part of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. The AMLT and the Bureau of Land Management have established a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to protect natural and cultural resources at Cotoni-Coast Dairies and our work to steward Native cultural sites and sensitive fish populations is already underway. You can read the full press release from Chairman Valentin Lopez here.



We are pleased to announce that EkOngKar Singh Khalsa has joined the AMLT as our first executive director. The official press release can be downloaded here, and an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel interviewing Mr. Khalsa and Chairman Lopez can be read here.