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MAY 2019
News & Events |Library | Research | Publications | Giving | Friends & Community
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Message from the Director

Chokma AISC friends and family,

Please see below for our exciting May events, especially our 50th anniversary symposium, Brokering the Sacred: The Ethics of Collecting Native Art on May 15. 


Shannon Speed
Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center


American Indian Community Gathering big thank you to the UCLA American Indian Alumni (AIA) for hosting a fun and successful community gathering on Saturday, May 4, especially on such short notice. Thank you to all the students who helped out at the event!






News from the AISC Library

The American Indian Studies Center Library has been open again this term for study and reference hours and the librarian has been enjoying getting to know all the patrons coming in to work. For Fall term the new librarian is very eager to have student and researcher feedback about preferred hours for the library, including whether or not a regular day with evening hours, or special exam-period hours would be utilized. E-mail her (Joy Holland) at

The Library has a social media presence now! Please be sure to like, add, and share the library’s pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and help make our presence known on campus:

Facebook :

The AISC Library is looking for MLIS or other interested students for possible volunteer/field/internship experience or a possible work-study position. If curious, please e-mail Joy at the address listed above.



Book Talk: As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock, May 14, 2019
4–6 PM
Bunche Hall 6275

The UCLA American Indian Studies Center presents a special book talk with Indigenous researcher, activist, and author Dina Gilio-Whitaker on her forthcoming As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock, which "explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle" (

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and a consultant and educator in environmental justice policy planning.  Dina’s research focuses on Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, environmental justice, and education. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. Dina brings her scholarship into focus as an award-winning journalist as well, contributing to numerous online outlets including Indian Country Today, and most recently the Los Angeles Times.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Hosted by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center.


Brokering the Sacred: The Ethics of Collecting Native Art, May 15, 2019
5:00 PM, reception
6–7 PM, panel discussion
Lenart Auditorium at the UCLA Fowler Museum

The repatriation of Native arts over a thirty-year period (1990–2020) has demonstrated the sustainability of Indigenous knowledge and survivance strategies. How might this moment speak to the viability of the arts as cultural transmitters rather than solely objects of capital worth? The ethics of collecting are debated by a panel of experts. 

Participants include Mercedes Dorame, Tongva artist; Andrew Meyer, Visiting Graduate Researcher at UCLA Latin American Institute and Coordinator of the California Hub of the Institut des Amériques; Wendy Teeter, Curator of Archaeology, Fowler Museum; Nancy Marie Mithlo, Professor, UCLA Department of Gender Studies and Matthew Robb, Chief Curator, Fowler Museum.

Co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, the Fowler Museum at UCLA, the UCLA Institute of American Cultures, and the California Hub of the Institut des Amériques.

Image Credit: Dyani White Hawk, Stealing Horses Back (detail), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Bockley Gallery.


Research for Social Justice: 50 Years of Ethnic Studies at UCLA, May 18, 2019
11:30 AM – 12:00PM
144 Haines Hall

Learn about the significant contributions to ethnic studies and social justice made during the past 50 years by the UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC) and its four ethnic studies research centers – American Indian Studies Center, Asian American Studies Center, Bunche Center for African American Studies, and Chicano Studies Research Center. Working closely with students, alumni, community partners, and faculty, the IAC and centers have been producing knowledge of emerging social and cultural realities in America. With their ground breaking research projects, library collections, and public programs, the centers are the only ethnic studies organized research units (ORU) among the 10 University of California campuses. In 2019, the IAC and the centers celebrate their historic 50th anniversary during UCLA's centennial year.



Indigenous Foodways

Thursday, May 23, 2019
Mathias Botanical Garden at UCLA

This event will feature a discussion by Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino, chefs and owners of Mak-'amham, an Oholone-themed restaurant in Berkeley, facilitated by Daisee Francour, Philanthropic Advisor, Strategist and Development Consultant.


Calling on UCLA American Indian Studies Alumni

As many of you know, 2019–20 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the American Indian Studies Center and the Interdepartmental Program. We are trying to complete a comprehensive history of the center in time for the anniversary. To that end, student workers have interviewed some of the first students and faculty in the program. Now we would like to identify others who were here between 1970 and 2010.

If you are interested in being interviewed, or if you know of someone you think we should interview, please email Pamela Grieman at For funding reasons, we will first focus on those located closest to Los Angeles, but we are particularly eager to find students who were here during the early days. Thanks so much for your time and consideration! We look forward to hearing from you! Just send an email to




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