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Dear Friends of American Indian Studies Center,

It's summertime in Los Angeles, and we at the Center hope you are all enjoying some rest and relaxation.  We have been hard at work on the launch of Partners for Justice, a collaborative research institute connecting the Center and President Obama's recently appointed Indian Law and Order Commission. Scroll down to read more about the work we are doing in criminal justice in Indian country. We've also been focused on increasing the Center's connection to international indigenous peoples' human rights. I will be traveling to Geneva, Switzerland this month to give the keynote address at the United Nations, World Intellectual Property Organization's panel on Sui Generis Protections for Traditional Knowledge and then begin work with the UN's Indigenous Peoples' Partnership Policy Board. It is an honor to represent UCLA and the Center in this work, and I thank the Center staff for their hard work and support in these endeavors as well as numerous faculty members for input and suggestions.

We have been fortunate to augment Center staff to facilitate our projects and are delighted to give a warm welcome to three new (but familiar) staff members. Read more below about student workers, Joy and Katie, and recent AIS alum, Leah, who has joined our staff. Though classes have ended, we have been hard at work preparing for the end of the UCLA fiscal year and wrapping up a successful and exciting 2010-11 academic calendar. Your support has been invaluable, and we hope to see even more of you next year. As always, thank you for your support of the Center.

Jage Nagenon (all my relations),

Angela R. Riley




UCLA Institute on Criiminal Law in Indian Country


The UCLA American Indian Studies Center is delighted to announce the launch of Partners for Justice: UCLA Institute on Criminal Law in Indian Country. Partners for Justice is a research initiative designed to support the work of the United States Indian Law and Order Commission (ILOC), which was recently established by the Tribal Law and Order Act. The Commission's members are appointed by President Barack Obama and include Carole E. Goldberg, the Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and, as of July 1, 2011, the UCLA Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel. Through Partners for Justice, the Center will work with the ILOC to assist in furthering research related to a "comprehensive study of law enforcement and criminal justice in tribal communities," as required by the law.


We are delighted to be working with the ILOC and to be engaged in work of such great significance to Indian communities across the United States.



Joy Kito-Hong, Student Reseacher

joypicture.jpg Joy Kito-Hong (Native Hawaiian) recently finished her first year at UCLA School of Law.  She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Evansville in Indiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing.  She has recently been published in the young adult magazine CICADA and the Ohio River Review.  She is currently training for a half marathon in September.  When she is not writing or fretting about law school, she enjoys knitting as a form of relaxation.


Leah Shearer, Research Analyst

IMG_3810.jpg Leah Shearer (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a BA in History and earned her MA in American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles in June of 2011. Her undergraduate thesis, The Crisis of Crow Dog, is an examination of the early shifts in criminal jurisdiction in Indian country in the late 19th Century and its current impact on federal Indian law. Her graduate thesis, Justice in Indian Country: A Case Study of the Tulalip Tribes, explores the goals and methods of the justice system of the Tulalip Reservation in Washington State. Her research continues to focus on those topics, with a strong emphasis on tribal sovereignty and cultural theory. During her time at UCLA, she supported Professor Angela Riley as a Graduate Student Researcher. Additionally, she worked for Professor Carole Goldberg and Professor Duane Champagne as a research assistant for their study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice, examining the administration of criminal justice in Indian country. As a research assistant, she interpreted and categorized qualitative data gathered from the randomly selected reservations sites. She also prepared this data to be statistically relevant for Professor Goldberg and Champagne as they composed the report accompanying their study. In the summer of 2009, she participated in the Washington Internships for Native Students program (WINS), where she interned at the Department of Veteran Affairs.





Katie Keliiaa, Book Review Editor

IMG_0389 cut.jpg Katie Keliiaa is a member of the Yerington Paiute Tribe and a descendant of the Washoe Tribe of NV and CA. She is a Bay Area native, born and raised in Hayward, CA. Katie attended UC Berkeley for her undergraduate education and double majored in Native American Studies and Ethnic Studies with a minor in Portuguese. After graduating from Cal, Katie worked in the non-profit sector and recently was involved in social services, working for Washoe Native TANF. Katie will soon be a second year in the American Indian Studies Master's Program. Her research will examine the Washoe Tribe's Washiw Wagayay Maŋal language program. She enjoys spending time with her mini-rex rabbit Oliver, visiting her family, traveling whenever possible and trying out new restaurants in LA. Katie is happy to be a new addition to the American Indian Studies Center.






Looking for Native American Women & Chicanas Pursuing PhD's for a Case Study in Academia

I am looking for Women of Color that identify as Native American or Chicana and would like to participate in a case study. The study will examine the racialized and gendered experiences of women in higher education. I am looking for participants in the following three categories: 1) Six women that have completed their Ph.D.'s; 2) Six women that left their studies or were “pushed out” of their studies; 3) Six women that have completed their Ph.D. degrees.

Please contact me if you are interested in participating in this case study. Your stories can truly help others. All inquires are confidential.

Bert Maria Cueva
Bert Maria Cueva, MA (Principal Investigator)
Ph.D. Candidate Women's Studies Department, UCLA
Ford Foundation Fellow, 2011
bcueva@ucla.edu (310) 845-9709 Message

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