Curated by Dr. Bruce Love 
First People, First Communities 

It is often forgotten that the true history of places such as Lancaster extends far beyond the range of pioneer settlement. In fact, Native communities have been existing within the Antelope Valley and surrounding areas for some 12,000 years or more. As such, it is important to remember that these Native populations have been here much longer than commonly acknowledged, and are still here! To this end, First People, First Communities attempts to honor the Antelope Valley’s First People by recognizing this extensive history of local Native populations and engaging with living tribal members.

Through a collection of cultural artifacts, photographs and quotes from tribal elders, First People, First Communities offers a glimpse into the true time depth of Native American presence in the Antelope Valley as well as the significant role these groups play in contemporary society. Here, the past and present are merged to assert the extensive role of Native Americans within our community. This exhibit bridges the time span, connecting present-day Native peoples with their far-reaching past while offering perspectives that are often neglected in contemporary narratives.