Greater Van Nuys Rotary had a very special guest as Speaker at our regular meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2020.   Please find below a brief Bio of our Guest Speaker. 
Guest Speaker: Rudy Ortega Jr.
Topic of Presentation: Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians: People Facing The Sun
Rudy Ortega Jr.
Tribal President, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians
Vice Chairperson, Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission
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 Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (, President Ortega Jr. oversees the Tribe’s governmental body and manages affairs pertaining to the rights of all Fernandeño Tataviam tarahat (people).
He 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 role as tomiar, traditional leader, fought in Los Angeles Superior Court in the 19th century to preserve traditional lands and protect the Tribe’s title to Mexican land grants from encroaching Anglo-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 (LACCNAIC) in 1977. Following his father's leadership, Ortega Jr. was appointed to the LACCNAIC by Mayor James Hahn in 2004 and currently serves as Vice Chair.
From 2004 - 2018, Ortega Jr. served as the Executive Director of Pukúu Cultural Community Services (, the Tribe’s non-profit that serves the greater Los Angeles County American Indian community and manages Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center, located 14 miles up the Angeles Crest Highway (2) (
Currently, Ortega Jr. is a member of the Los Angeles River Master Plan Steering Committee, the Edison Consumer Advisory Panel Board, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr..