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Dear AISC friends and family,

I hope this finds you all well. We don’t regularly send a newsletter in July, when we are all in summer mode. However, this month we have news to share! First, I am honored and excited to be starting a second five-year term as director of the AISC. We have accomplished so much in the last five years, but there is still much to be done! I look forward to continuing to work closely with the IAC and the other ethnic studies centers, with our wonderful and dedicated staff, faculty, and students, and with many collaborators across campus and in the community.

Speaking of community collaborations, we have two pieces of good news to share. First, together with UCLA’s Promise Institute for Human Rights and with support from the Bunche Center for African and African American Studies, the AISC collaborated with Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO) on a community-based story map that provides visualizations of the data collected by CIELO on households of Indigenous people from south of the US Mexico border. These communities are often erased or rendered invisible through their categorization at “Latinx,” resulting in a lack of culturally competent resources and services. Our map highlights this on-going and growing Indigenous presence. The map can be found here. LA Times coverage. Special thanks to Mariah Tso, GIS specialist of the Bunche Center for her incredible work on the map!

In other community news, the Indigenous Education Now (IEN) Coalition, of which the AISC is an active member, successfully petitioned LAUSD to dedicate $10 million to support Indigenous Student Achievement that will comprise a range of services and support for Native students. Read about the IEN coalition’s work and LAUSD Board of Education’s historic decision here.

In staff news, we are celebrating the promotion of Joy Holland from Associate Librarian to Librarian with Career Status. This is a big promotion and a much-deserved recognition of the incredible work that Joy does for our students and faculty, for the AISC, for the UCLA community as a while, and for the community beyond campus. Joy is a wonderful colleague and a huge asset to the AISC, and we celebrate this significant advancement.

In faculty news, we congratulate Professor Peter Nabokov on his retirement. Prof. Nabokov held a faculty line in the AISC (housed in the World Arts and Cultures/Dance department) and taught in the American Indian Studies IDP for decades. We are grateful for his many years of service, for all that he brought to the many students he taught, and we wish him the very best in retirement and future pursuits.

We’ll be in touch again soon about upcoming events, and I hope to see some of you in person when we’re back on campus (sort of) in the fall. Meanwhile, chinchokma’ni sabanna, I hope you are well.

Shannon Speed
Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center


🔷Native Bruin Highlight: Past, Present & Emerging 🔷
Caleb Dunlap (he/him), known to his people as Baadwewidan, is Anishinaabe from Northern Minnesota and a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. A 2009 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles in American Indian Studies, Caleb’s career ranges from working in public health to homeless relief and now as a Technical Recruiter with Amazon’s Consumer organization. In all of his work, he remains passionate and committed to access, community, diversity, and the creation of innovative programs and solutions. While at Amazon, he has been instrumental in founding and leading Indigenous@Amazon, Amazon’s employee global resource group for Native and Indigenous employees, to ensure that more Native and Indigenous employees find a home within Amazon. Caleb is also a proud member of the Sacred Water Canoe Family and the Northwest Two Spirit Society.

"I remember receiving my acceptance to UCLA and the very next day I received a call from a Native student asking me to attend. Knowing that there was a Native community on campus was the reason I came, stayed, thrived and eventually graduated. During my time at UCLA, I had the opportunity to lead our UCLA Pow Wow, the American Indian Recruitment (AIR) project and our chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) alongside other Native students. These opportunities transformed my life! Looking back at my 10+ year professional career since graduation, I am a better professional and colleague because of my involvements at UCLA, my professors and most certainly because of my fellow Native students. Native students and alumni of UCLA are a force to be reckoned with and I am so amazed to see the way they maneuver this world and proud call to them my lifelong family"
The UCLA American Indian Studies Center congratulates Joy Holland on her recent promotion to Full Librarian on career status, effective July 1. We are so proud of her and so grateful to have her on board as the Center Librarian. We appreciate all that she’s done for the UCLA AISC Library. Congratulations, Joy!!!

Artist Talk with Hopi/Tewa artist, Duane Koyawena 

Register here:
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