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Everyone Is Invited to Join the Aquarium of the Pacific at Its Eighteenth Annual Moompetam American Indian Festival

The festival celebrates California’s indigenous coastal tribes and their connections to the ocean and environment.

Moompetam Performers

September 12, 2022

WHAT: The Aquarium of the Pacific will host its eighteenth annual Moompetam American Indian Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18, 2022. This event celebrates indigenous maritime cultures in California and includes traditional music, dance, storytelling, and cultural craft demonstrations. Participants include members of the Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay tribes. American Indian artists will display and demonstrate cultural materials, such as basketry, items of adornment, and artifacts.

Moompetam (pronounced \’mohm peh tahm), meaning “People of the Ocean,” is derived from the word for saltwater in the Tongva language. For the California indigenous coastal peoples, the ocean has always been a sacred entity. The ocean environment is reflected in all aspects of the cultures of the California coastal tribes, who have maintained strong connections to the ocean for hundreds of years and into modern times.

Each year during this festival the Aquarium honors individuals or organizations within the community for outstanding community service. This year the Aquarium will present the Heritage Award to Cindi Alvitre, who teaches American Indian Studies at California State University, Long Beach, where she is also the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act coordinator. She is a descendant of the Tongva and served as the first woman chair of the Gabrieleno/Tongva Tribal Council. She is a cofounder of cultural and environmental education collective Mother Earth Clan and cofounder of the Ti’at Society, which focuses on the maritime culture of the Tongva. The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, September 18, at 1:00 p.m. in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

COST: Included with general admission: $36.95 per adult (ages 12+), $26.95 per child (ages 3-11), $33.95 per senior (ages 62+), and free for Aquarium members and children under age three
Advance reservations are required for everyone.

INFO: (562) 590-3100 or


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