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APRIL 2016
News & Events |Library | Research | Publications | Giving | Friends & Community
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Message from the Director

Dear Friends of the American Indian Studies Center,

Please join us for the following exciting events in April. In particular I want to draw your attention to the Urgent Forum on the Assassination of Berta Cáceres and the future of Indigenous and Afro-descendant rights in Honduras. Betra's daughter Olivia Zuniga Cáceres will be with us, as well as several prominent activists and scholars from Honduras. Hope to see you there!



Urgent Issues Forum/Foro Urgente: The Assassination of Berta Cáceres and the Future of Indigenous and Afrodescendant Environmental and Land Rights in Honduras

Friday, April 8, 2016
9 AM - 2 PM
Presentation Room, Young Research Library

On March 2, 2016, award-winning Lenca environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home in Honduras. She had received multiple threats from military and paramilitary groups linked to the mining and dams interests that she opposed. Gustavo Castro, a Mexican activist who was in Berta’s home and was injured in the attack, is now being held illegally in Honduras and there are international concerns that he is being framed for the attack. This urgent forum explores the issues of resource extraction and state violence and their impact on the future of indigenous and environmental rights activism in Honduras.

Participants include:

  • Olivia Cáceres (Lenca)
    Activist and daughter of Berta Cáceres
  • Rony Castillo (Garifuna)
    PhD student UT Austin, Advisor on Education Issues OFRANEH, President of the Garifuna Education Council and Co-founder of the Garifuna Intercultural University
  • Suyapa Portillo
    Pitzer College
  • Chris Loperena
    University of San Francisco
  • Joseph Berra
    UCLA Law School

Hosted by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Institute of American Cultures, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UCLA Chicano Research Studies Center, UCLA Center of Study for Women, and Grassroots International.


’Making Ourselves Whole with Words': Anishinaabe Identity and Citizenship in the Twenty-first Century

Jill Doerfler (White Earth Anishinaabe)
Associate Professor, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota Duluth

Monday, April 4
Faculty Common Room 193
Humanities Building

Presented by the UCLA Department of English  


Fantasizing and Reframing the (Un)Human: Lived Settler Logics and Literary Sites of Disruptive Relationality lecture presented by Dr. Rene Dietrich
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
2125 Rolfe Hall

This talk seeks to investigate the lived settler logics of "humanness" and to ask how literary strategies of relationality in contemporary Native writing work to disrupt them. Such logics do not only absolutize a certain form of human life as defining all of humanity so as to de-humanize the diverse ways of being human that do not adhere to settler norms. They also position the "human" as the category of privilege in a politics of naturalized hierarchies so as to delegitimize any political thought and formation of a place-based relationality of all life forms on (and including) the land. Against this framework of (bio)political normativities, I will read Deborah Miranda's most recent poetry volume Raised by Humans (2015) and Daniel Heath Justice's fantasy novel The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles (2011) as literary sites of intervention and political knowledge production. Through Miranda's reframing and Justice's fantasizing of the (Un)Human, both authors work to reconfigure the sphere of politics as being constituted through the relationality of all life forms and the land, and thus indicate the potential of literature in developing decolonial thought and Indigenous futurities lived beyond settler logics.

Co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center



Indigeneity and the Art of the Possible: Indigenous Futurisms in Film and Political Discourse

Danika Medak-Saltzman (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)
Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder

Monday, April 18
English Reading Room, 235 Humanities bldg.


A Student Luncheon & Discussion with Dr. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz note that this event has been changed from a talk to a luncheon discussion)
A Meet & Greet with Dr. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, Ed.D., Senior Program Officer, American Indian College Fund
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Public Affairs Bldg, Room 3343

RSVP required at
Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, Ed.D., is the Senior Program Officer directing the Tribal College and University (TCU) Early Childhood Education Initiatives at the American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) in Denver, Colorado. Yazzie-Mintz, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, has earned degrees from Arizona State University (B.S. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Educational Psychology) and the Harvard University Graduate School of Education (Ed.D. in Learning and Teaching).

Sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, Department of Public Policy, and Kneller Endowment in Education and Anthropology.


Fatal Vision: Indigeneity, Photography, and the Colonial Politics of Gender

Shari Huhndorf
Professor, Native American Studies, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, April 26
English Reading Room, 235 Humanities bldg.


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