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"Protect Puvungna and all sacred lands! Take action!" 
- Rebecca Robles, Friends of Puvungna

Upload times & photos for the Virtual Run: JAN 15 - JAN 22ND

In Person 5K Run: JAN 22ND 9:30AM PST


Funds raised will go to Friends of Puvungna

Our Mission; Protect, preserve, and enhance the lands of Puvungna to its natural historical state and open space. Promote education and preservation of Native American traditional, religious and spiritual knowledge. Promote Indigenous led conservation programs to safeguard sacred lands, reduce climate change and reverse wildlife loss.


Purpose: To build solidarity and awareness on protecting Puvungna and all sacred sites.

Process: There will be a 1 week of a virtual prayer run from January 15th through January 22nd. A weekly virtual zoom conversation on updates about Puvungna on Sundays with Rebecca, leading up to the virtual prayer run. Including registration donation for fundraising efforts - towards restoration and future organizing.

Rising Hearts is helping to organize this virtual run for Friends of Puvungna, to host this prayer run and put out a call to action to raise awareness of the desecration and destruction of this sacred site known as “Puvungna” or “the gathering place”, located at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). The 5k portion of funds raised (and with sticker purchases) will go towards restoration and future organizing, organizing efforts, and education to continue the protection of Puvungna.


Puvungna is a sacred site of creation, emergence, and gathering. It is the home of the creator, Wiyot, and the birthplace of Chinigchinich, lawgiver and god. For more than 10,000 years Puvungna flourished as a ceremonial center for the Tongva, Acjachemen, and other Southern California tribes who, to this day, recognize Puvungna as part of a shared history and culture.

This indigenous community once encompassed 500 acres, extending across southeast Long Beach and into Seal Beach. Puvungna included what is now the campus of California State University Long Beach. In 1974, twenty-two acres of CSULB were placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Puvungna Village'' site. However, in spite of its status, the preservation of this site as a tribal cultural witness area, ceremonial center, and natural open space, has faced many challenges over the years.

In September, 2019, CSULB dumped 6,400 cubic yards of debris and soil from a campus construction project onto Puvungna without conducting prior consultation with affiliated tribal governments as required by law. Plastic sheeting was spread over part of the meadow killing plants and harming wildlife. Ceremonial areas and sensitive tribal cultural/archaeological materials were damaged. Additionally, CSULB repeatedly sprayed pesticides and drove vehicles and heavy machinery onto the site.

In response to this crisis, Friends of Puvungna was founded as a grassroots organization dedicated to the protection of Puvungna and the survival of indigenous lifeways, cultures, and lands. We held prayer vigils on the land, monitored and documented the dumping and other illegal activities by CSULB, and educated tribal members, the local community, and decision makers about the dumping and about CSULB’s plans to expand parking and build multiple structures on the site.

In October, 2019, the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, Acjacheman Nation - Belardes and the California Cultural Resources Preservation Alliance filed a lawsuit against CSULB for the illegal dumping. In September 2021, a settlement was reached that provided permanent protection for the majority of the site at CSULB and ensured that it will remain open space, accessible for tribal ceremonial and cultural gatherings and for individual prayer and meditation.

Following this monumental victory, Friends of Puvungna has begun a new chapter. We have recently obtained nonprofit 501(c)(3) status and are in the process of becoming an official land conservancy organization in order to be granted caretaker status of the 10 acres of Puvungna that are going into conservation easement. Alongside this long-term goal, Friends of Puvungna continues to hold ceremony and to sponsor educational workshops and cultural gatherings on the site. We work to educate, heal, and build the Puvungna community, and to remove toxic soils and substances and restore the meadow. This past October, the 25th Annual Ancestor Walk brought several hundred people together at Puvungna.

All tribal sacred sites are invaluable. Our efforts to protect Puvungna are related to the many distinct yet interconnected struggles waged by Indigenous peoples globally to hold onto and regain sovereignty over our lives and our ancestral lands. We do this to honor our ancestors and to gift all future generations.

Join our struggle to ensure that Puvungna remains a gathering place for the next 10,000 years.

Visit our website:, follow us on Instagram @protectpuvungna, email us at [email protected]


Implementing land acknowledgements at your race / events:

1. Give a land acknowledgement at your race or event. Acknowledge the stolen lands you are on, that you are organizing on - the very lands that many Indigenous communities were forcibly removed from or are still the first and original caretakers of the lands.

A land acknowledgement is a formal recognition, a sign of respect for the First Peoples of the land and their connection to it and protection of the lands. Through this first step - you will be able to show respect and you will have a different, and hopefully, deeper connection and appreciation of the lands. In this first step, Rising Hearts is here to help support you in your outreach to Tribes, Indigenous communities or Native organizations that can help give a land acknowledgement. If someone from the local communities can’t, then find an Indigenous person in the surrounding areas to give the land acknowledgement. If any of these options can’t work - you will ask those voices or communities if they would like to provide a written land acknowledgement that your organizing entity can read before the races/events begin. If there are Indigenous participants in your event that are attending - we can reach out to them to see if they are okay with reading / giving the land acknowledgement before the last option. Lastly, if that can’t happen, your organizing entity will draft a written land acknowledgement and Rising Hearts will help review to ensure it is accurate and reflective of the communities, their culture, history, and presence on the lands.

A. Download the NativeLand App - this is a great resource. NOTE: the app is not always accurate.

B. Visit NOTE: that this map does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. To learn about definitive boundaries, contact the nations in question. but also know that all lands you are on - are stolen native lands.

C. Text your zip code to 907-312-5085 and the bot will respond the Indigenous Peoples/Tribes that are directly connected to those lands. NOTE: that this may not always be accurate.

D. Use google: For example, “Indigenous Tribes of the Great Plains… or Indigenous/Native Tribes and peoples of Los Angeles”

E. Visit cultural centers (when it’s more safe and not during a pandemic) in the towns you visit - learn from Indigenous voices in your self-informed education of understanding the lands you are on and who have been protecting them since pre-contact.

F. Don’t be performative with your posts - a land acknowledgement is not a "check in the box.”  

NOTE: All technological systems created to help identify the Indigenous lands, peoples, their place names and Tribes you are on - are a work in progress and not always accurate.

For more resources on land acknowledgment please visit meztli projects - they have created a land acknowledgements document - the why, when, where, and intentions of giving a land acknowledgement: or email: [email protected] 

It doesn’t end with just a land acknowledgement at the race. It goes further.

Please download our Running on Native Lands toolkit here and visit to learn more and contact us at [email protected] with “Running on Native Lands Initiative” in the subject, should you want to collaborate.


Examples for Individuals wanting to give a land acknowledgment on their social media platforms with their photos:

"Occupied Tongva Lands / Los Angeles, CA"

"Támal Pájis / Coast Miwok - Mount Tamalpais / Ohlone Lands / San Francisco, CA / Marin, CA"

"Diné, Goshute, Southern Paiute, Eastern Shoshone, Ute lands - Bears Ears to Salt Lake City, UT"

We hope you team up with us! And to learn more about Rising Hearts visit




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[email protected]
[email protected]


1. Run/walk whenever & wherever you'd like!
2. Starting on the event date go to - search 'Run For Puvungna'
3. Search for your name - click Update.
4. Enter your time.
5. OPTIONAL upload up to 5 photos!


EARLY REGISTRANTS (before start day) can start posting times ON start day!
LATE REGISTRANTS (after start day) allow up to 24 hours to post times.
BIB MAILING begins Monday prior to start day. If you register after this, please allow 3-5 business days to receive.
You don't need the bib to participate, it's a keepsake!