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MARCH 2020
News & Events |Library | Research | Publications | Giving | Friends & Community

Please consider donating to the UCLA American Indian Studies Center to support students, research, and programming.

The AISC at UCLA acknowledge the Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, So. Channel Islands) and are grateful to have the opportunity to work for the taraaxatom (indigenous peoples) in this place. As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to Honuukvetam (Ancestors), 'Ahiihirom (Elders), and 'eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

Message from the Director

Dear AISC friends and family,

Warm greetings and well wishes from the AISC in this difficult moment of COVID-19 outbreak. Beginning March 11, UCLA transitioned to online learning and is limiting the number of people on campus. Social distancing has been identified by public health officials and university officials as key to controlling the spread of the virus. The UCLA American Indian Studies Center will be closed through April 10, and staff will be working remotely and accessible through email. We appreciate your understanding.

All of our public programming for March and April has been suspended at this time, with the exception of the April 7 forum on Indigenous migrants and human rights being held at the UCLA Hammer Museum. A virtual participation offer will be provided.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the UCLA campus at this time. For up to date information on the COVID-19 outbreak, please access:

All of us at the AISC wish you a safe and healthy month ahead.

Chinchokma’ni sabanna/Be well
Shannon Speed
Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center


Forthcoming from AICRJ: Blackness and Indigeneity

Keep an eye out for the next issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal on “Rethinking Blackness and Indigeneity in the Light of Settler Colonial Theory.” Guest-edited by Circe Sturm, this special issue explores the intersections of Blackness and Indigeneity from two primary analytic and theoretical frames, critical race theory and settler colonialism (vol. 43, no. 2).

AISC Publications website:


News from the AISC Library

The UCLA American Indian Studies Center, UCLA Native Nation Law & Policy Center, and UCLA American Indian Studies Library welcomed Walter Echo-Hawk, author, distinguished attorney and legal scholar, and the Chair of the Board of Directors, of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums to UCLA for a conversation and book signing on February 5, held in the UCLA Library. Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) spoke to a packed venue and read from his new book, "The Sea of Grass: A Family Tale from the American Heartland." The event included a reception, discussion, and book signing for this touching historical recounting of 10 generations of his family’s history on the Central Plains of North America. Echo-Hawk also made time to connect students and scholars as part of his campus visit!  (We ran out of books at the event and had to buy more)!

Walter Echo-Hawk’s visit inspired lots of smiles from students, faculty, and the AISC Librarian.

Professor Peter Nabokov’s graduate course, “Introduction to Interdisciplinary Methods in American Indian and Indigenous Studies,” visited Young Research Library Special Collections recently where the American Indian Studies Center Librarian, Joy Holland, provided some introduction on how to use and handle archival and special collections materials as well as some instruction on different types of primary resources available for their research. The students quickly proved themselves to be natural archivists and were able to briefly tour the space with Jet Jacobs, Head of Public Services, Outreach, and Community Engagement and get an idea of the impressive collections that are held at UCLA.

Dr. Peter Nabokov’s AIS 201 Class explore UCLA Special Collections with Joy Holland, AISC Librarian.

The librarian wishes all the AIS Students luck on their exams and end of term projects!


Indigenous Women in US Detention on the Border

Women detained in a fenced in area at the Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018.Tuesday, April 7, 2020
7:30 PM

Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

The indigeneity of migrants from Central America and Mexico is frequently erased in official data and stories. Indigenous migrants, particularly women and children, are rendered more vulnerable to violence and human rights violations during their journey, in their encounters at the border, and while in detention. Shannon Speed, director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, and UCLA law professor Joe Berra of the Promise Institute for Human Rights organize a panel of speakers to share the stories of indigenous migrants in detention.

A virtual participation offer will be provided.

Copresented with the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and the Promise Institute for Human Rights



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