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MAY 2018
News & Events |Library | Research | Publications | Giving | Friends & Community
Please consider donating to the UCLA American Indian Studies Center to support students, research, and programming.

Message from the Director

Dear AISC community,

Welcome to May! We have a big month ahead, with UCLA Powwow and the NAISA conference, along with several other important events. Please see below for details.

Warm regards,
Shannon Speed
Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center


AICRJ special issue on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Check out the latest edition of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal (vol. 41, no. 3), guest-edited by Natale Zappia. This special issue, Indigenous Food Sovereignty: Native Health, Food Systems, and Economic Revitalization, includes articles by Devon Mihesuah, Elizabeth Hoover, Amelia Katanski, Christina Hill, Morgan Ruelle, and Enrique Salmón.

To meet some of the contributors to this special issue, attend NAISA panel #149, “Indigenous Archives: Knowledge, Power, and Practice,” at 10 am Saturday, May 19!


NAISA 2018 Annual Meeting

May 17–19, 2018
InterContinental Hotel
900 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90017

From May 17–19, 2018, the American Indian Studies Center at University of California, Los Angeles and its Southern California co-hosts will welcome the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the largest scholarly organization devoted to Indigenous issues and research, to Yaanga (Downtown Los Angeles) on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Tongva.

Registration is now opened:

NAISA 2018 website:


Nahuatl Conference two-day event features an academic conference at UCLA on May 4 and a cultural festival in downtown LA on May 5.

Friday, May 04, 2018
8:30 AM
– 5:00 PM
Charles E. Young Grand Salon
Kerckhoff Hall


This conference is brought to you by an alliance of the Latin American Centers at UCLA, Stanford University, and the University of Utah to promote the study of Nahuatl, with the participation of the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnólogica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ). Thirteen international scholars, including three native-language speakers of Nahuatl from Veracruz, will present their research on Nahuatl language and culture.

The conference will be in Nahuatl, Spanish, and English.

Please register at:


The 33rd Annual UCLA Pow Wow by the UCLA American Indian Student Association
Saturday-Sunday, May 5–6, 2018
UCLA North Athletic Field

FREE and OPEN to the public
Parking is $12 per day in lots 4 & 7

Master of Ceremonies- Tom Phillips (Kiowa)
Arena Director- Victor Chavez (Diné)
Head Judge- Lambert Yazzie (Diné)
Host Northern Drum- Sharpshooter
Host Southern Drum- Sooner Nation
Head Lady- Leah McGurk (Diné)
Head Man- Randall Paskemin (Plains Cree)
Color Guard- Golden State Gourd Society

1. Shalene Joseph - Women's jingle // Old Style vs Contemporary
2. Randall Paskemin - Giveaway
3. Leah McGurk - Giveaway

For more information contact:
Pow Wow Coordinator: Tekpatl Kuauhtzin,
Vendor inquiries: Donald Salcedo,
For Pow Wow Princess Pageant inquiries, please contact Tina Charley,

Absolutely no alcoholic beverages or drugs. AISA is not responsible for the theft of loss of any personal belongings.
Co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center


After the Genocide: Indigenous Struggles for Justice and the Impact of Court Trials in Guatemala, May 10, 2018
Roundtable panel: 1:30
–3 PM, Rolfe 1301
Refreshments/reception: 3
–3:45 PM, Rolfe 1301
Film screening of 500 Years and Q&A: 4
–7 PM, Haines 39
Click here for the Spanish version!

On May 10, 2013, the first trial in the history of the Americas for the genocide of indigenous peoples culminated with the conviction of former president Efraín Ríos Montt for his responsibility in the genocide of the Mayan populations of Guatemala. Ten days later, the verdict was overturned by a higher court. The genocide trial against Ríos Montt was reinitiated in 2017 but the defendant died of natural causes on April 1st, 2018, before the trial could be completed.

Please join us on the fifth anniversary of Ríos Montt’s genocide conviction to discuss these and other related questions with Dr. Marta Elena Casaus Arzú (Distinguished Professor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) and Dr. Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj (outgoing Mellon Visiting Professor at Duke University). Dr. Casaus has published extensively on racism and discrimination against the Mayan peoples of Guatemala, while Dr. Velásquez Nimatuj has been at the forefront of struggles for the respect of indigenous cultures for decades.

The symposium will close with the projection of the award-winning documentary film 500 Years: Life in Resistance (Pamela Yates, 2017), followed by a Q&A. The film, narrated by guest speaker Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj, documents the genocide trial against Efraín Ríos Montt, as well as the ensuing civic battles for the defense of human rights, indigenous rights, and social justice that culminated in the massive mobilizations against corruption which took place throughout Guatemala during the spring of 2015.
This is an open and free event and refreshments will be served for the audience.

Hosted by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, Latin American Institute, and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.


Indigenous Knowledge, Taiwan: Comparative and Relational Perspectives

Friday, May 11, 2018
9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
314 Royce Hall

Saturday, May 12, 2018
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
314 Royce Hall

Free and open to the public.
RSVP required:

This conference aims to engender transnational conversations about indigenous knowledge, with Taiwan as its comparative pivot and relational node. Setting discussions on indigenous knowledge and settler colonialism in Taiwan in dialogue with those in the United States, Okinawa, and the Philippines, this conference explores some initial and necessarily broad questions: What is indigenous knowledge and how is it defined in different places? How is indigenous knowledge relevant to such taxonomies as philosophy, epistemology, ontology, or cosmology? How has it been suppressed and/or erased, and how has it transformed and grown over time? What is being preserved, lost, and strengthened, and what might be the politics and poetics of preservation, loss, transformation, and growth? How have settler colonizers perceived, represented, and usurped indigenous knowledge? What imaginary of the future does indigenous knowledge present? How is indigenous knowledge a resource for all?

For more information, visit


NAISA Supported Events

Check out these events occuring around NAISA!

NAISA Indigenous Education Preconference
Wednesday May 16, 2018

8 am to 6 pm
UCLA Faculty Center
The preconference theme is Community-Engaged Research in Indigenous Education—Setting a 21st Century Agenda. Session panels and roundtables will explore Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Indigenous Community-Based Language Revitalization, Indigenous Higher Education Research, Tribal-University Partnerships, Teacher Education and Teacher Partnerships, Indian Boarding Schools Before and After, and Indigenous Thought and Education Research, among other topics.

Critical Latinx Indigeneities NAISA Pre-Conference
Wednesday May 16, 2018
UCLA Campus

Situating "Latina/o" within the hemispheric and historical circumstances of multiple imperial formations and colonial entanglements, the Critical Latinx Indigeneities precoference focuses on the experience of indigenous migrants from Latin America to the United States. Participants analyze how Zapotec, Mayan, Mixtec, Quechua, and other indigenous migrants—and second generation, US-born youth—conceive of belonging based on their own epistemologies as well as the political economies, social dynamics, and cultures of the places to which they migrate.


Friday, May 18, 2018
7 to 10 PM Opening

May 17–June 3, 2018
12 PM to 6 PM, Thursday and Friday
11 AM to 6 PM Saturday
11 AM to 5 PM Sunday
118 Winston Street, 2nd Fl, Los Angeles, CA
THESE DAYS will present a gallery exhibit featuring The People's Home, Wintson Street 1974.


To Native Beauty: Indigenous Music, Dance and Spoken Word Poetry
Saturday, May 19, 2018
InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
900 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90017
This important event will benefit the United American Indian Involvement, Inc (UAII); the largest provider of human and health services to American Indians/Alaskan Natives liviing in Los Angeles. Join us for an event highlighting the best of dance, music, and spoken word poetry from Natives who now call the urban centers home. A silent auction will be on display for high end items for your consideration. This event will also feature the history of service from UAII along with the many collaborations that have helped the organization continue to fullfil its goal desire to uplift the community.


Sunday at the Autry Museum of the American West
Sunday, May 20, 2018
10 AM – 5 PM
Autry Museum of the American West

Present your NAISA conference badge for complimentary admission to the Autry Museum during regular museum hours, featuring special programming: The Chia Café Collective and Artbound, “The Art of Basketweaving” (KCET, 2018).

Office Hours with Dr. Nancy Marie Mithlo

Dr. Nancy Marie Mithlo is offering office hours during her visiting scholar appointment at the UCLA American Indian Studies Center. All office hours are held in 3215 Campbell Hall.

  • Tuesday, May 15, 2 – 4 PM

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