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Release No.03.09.17-ScholarlyPresentation
March 9, 2017

Scholarly Presentation to Focus on Tataviam on March 30

Photo of Dr. Laurie SolisCollege of the Canyons anthropology professor Dr. Laurie Solis will deliver the scholarly presentation “Tataviam: People Who Face the Sun,” based on her published book of the same title, on Thursday, March 30 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC). 

The prehistoric Tataviam were a Native American group living in the northern San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, and southern Antelope Valley, where they actively managed the land through pruning and controlled fires.

“I’m very excited to share my knowledge of the prehistoric Tataviam, who were people that learned to live in harmony with their environment,” said Solis, who has served as a liaison to various local tribes, including the Tataviam/Fernandeno Band of Mission Indians. 

With the use of photos, maps, and other data from her book, Solis will share her knowledge of the Southern California tribe that she has gained through countless archaeological studies. She will also shed light on the Tataviam’s semi-nomadic way of life and plant-based diet, which included yucca and acorns as staples. 

The Scholarly Presentation “Tataviam: People Who Face the Sun” will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 30.

Photographs and artifacts relevant to the Tataviam will be on view in the PAC lobby prior to the start of Solis’ presentation.

Copies of “Tataviam: People Who Face the Sun” will be on sale for $20 (cash only). Part of the proceeds will benefit the college’s Anthropology Club. 

This event is free and open to the public. 

For more information about the Scholarly Presentation “Tataviam: People Who Face the Sun,” please contact the COC Foundation at (661) 362-3434.

About the Presenter 

Laurie Solis knew she was going to be an archaeologist when, at the tender age of 4, she was overjoyed to find the skeleton of a pet cat buried in her family’s backyard, which she routinely excavated. 

Now an adjunct professor of Anthropology at College of the Canyons and Antelope Valley College, Solis has almost 20 years of experience in the field of Cultural Resource Management and specializes in prehistory of the Great Basin and Southwest and Pioneer/Frontier History.  

Solis earned her doctorate degree in religious studies and archaeology from Golden State School of Theology in 2011. After earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in 1997, Solis earned a master’s degree in anthropology from CSUN in 2004. 

She has conducted Phase I Archaeological Surveys, Phase II Testing, and Phase III Studies for METRO, High Speed Train Authority, Edwards Air Force Base, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, California Energy Commission (CEC), Cal Trans, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, and the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. 

She discovered three new species of fish not previously discovered in California, which are held in the collections of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and University of California, Berkeley.

A frequent guest lecturer and public speaker on California Indians, Solis has worked closely as a liaison with several California Indian Tribes, including the Piute-Shoshone, Gabrielino/Tongva, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Chumash, the Juaneno, and the Tataviam/Fernandeno Band of Mission Indians. 

She has authored almost 200 studies on archaeological, historical and paleontological resources. Her book, “Tataviam: People Who Face the Sun,” is one of the few published works available about the tribe.