Message from the Chair

Dear AIS Community,


Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! AIS proudly 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. We are a program devoted to the study and engagement with American Indians and Indigenous peoples of California and beyond with a Major, Minor and MA program. As a land grant institution, we take seriously our mission to educate students and the public about the land, history, and on-going effects of colonization on tribal lands and in urban centers. AIS classes at UCLA are taught by distinguished faculty who collaborate with over 20 different communities and countless community organizations. Our goal in this interdisciplinary program is to give the students the skills they need to work with American Indian and Indigenous peoples, develop their own projects, and provide a broad view of American Indian and Indigenous issues. As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to Honuukvetam (Ancestors),'Ahiihirom (Elders), and 'eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

We do hope you can join us on September 24th, 4pm to 7pm for our welcome event. Here we meet with old and new friends that are joining the UCLA Native Bruins! Come learn about the wonderful student groups that have much to offer our community. This year promises to be filled with many events in which we address California Indian issues to larger scale Indigenous projects. Our Fall begins with a panel on Oak trees and a discussion between Life Sciences and Traditional knowledge keepers of oak trees in California. We also hope that alumni and current community will join us for our yearly community service operation and clean-up at Kuruvungna Springs on October 6th.  The Institute of American Cultures (IAC) fall forum event welcomes our new faculty member Nancy Marie Mithlo on October 18th.  We have also planned an event with RePair on trauma, disability and the formative role of storytelling in healing. Cutcha Baldy (Hupa author and scholar) will join us on October 22, at 6:30pm at La Paloma Mercado in downtown. Come meet up with the American Indian communities around LA in this AISC and AIS sponsored event in collaboration with RePair’s Transformation series of storytellers. For more information see their website at:  This is just the fall line-up and we hope to bring you many more events for the rest of the year!


Mishuana Goeman
(Tonawanda Band of Seneca)
Associate Professor Gender Studies and American Indian Studies