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Greetings, AISC community! 

March is a unique month for universities on the quarter system. When it begins, winter quarter is coming to an end, and at its end, spring quarter arrives. In the middle, a short spring break when—this year more than ever—many in our community try to fit in reunions with family and friends before the last push to graduation, summer research, or other projects. It is also the time that students who have been admitted to UCLA visit campus to find out more about how they might fit into such a giant institution.
At the AISC, we are working with colleagues in American Indian Studies to welcome future students to campus through virtual events focused on those admitted to the AIS master’s program and Native Bruins admitted to UCLA as undergraduates. In this in-between time, with so many new possibilities as well as many uncertainties, the Center staff continue to work to support student and faculty research, create engaging events, and work with community partners as part of educational and activist projects. We are looking forward to welcoming future students to campus, knowing that they will also find a space of support and intellectual engagement at the AISC.

Many thanks, 

Erin Debenport
Associate Professor & Vice Chair for Graduate Studies, UCLA Anthropology 
Interim Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center 


🔷Native Bruin Highlight: Past, Present & Emerging 🔷
This March we are highlighting Native Bruin Dr. Drew Preston from the class of 2010.

Dr. Preston graduated with a bachelor of science degree with honors in cell and developmental biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry.

Following dental school, he worked several years as a general dentist in Southern California. Early in his career, he was involved in the initial development of an Oral Health Department at a Santa Barbara American Indian community health clinic. After seven years of practicing as a general dentist, Dr. Preston attended a three-year specialty training program in dental anesthesiology at Jacobi Medical Center in New York City where he served as chief resident. His priority as a dentist anesthesiologist is to provide safe and caring anesthesia to phobic, pediatric, and special needs patients. He has also served as president-elect and president of the Society of American Indian Dentists.

Outside of the office Dr. Preston enjoys traveling internationally and exploring other cultures. He also has a great interest in art, architecture, interior design, film, music, and running.

"My time at UCLA School of Dentistry played a pivotal role in shaping my career. There is no doubt that the support system in the School of Dentistry and in the UCLA American Indian community fostered the successes in my education. My best advice is to seek out that support system and find opportunities to be of service to others."
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 6 pm (PST) 
Where: UCLA La Kretz Garden Pavilion | Los Angeles
Title of Event: Restoring the Ancient Tongva Village of Kuruvungna in West Los Angeles
Co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center. 

Welcome to the UCLA Mathias Botanical Garden's 2021–2022 public lecture series, Transplanted: Examining Contexts of Plants, People, & Place.

In modern-day Los Angeles, there are few remaining places where people can put their hands in the earth and connect with the land and plants that sustain us. The ancient Gabrielino/Tongva village site of Kuruvungna in West Los Angeles thrived alongside freshwater springs that emerge along the Santa Monica fault line. Today, two acres of land there have been preserved and provide a unique space to honor the sanctity of the site and to share Gabrielino/Tongva culture in a dignified way. Younger generations are coming to learn about traditional practices, practice gardening, and build community. Bob Ramirez (Tongva), president of the Gabrielino/Tongva Springs Foundation, will detail the ecological restoration to preserve and protect the Kuruvungna Village Springs site, as well as share plans for the future.

More information here:

End of Term and Final Hours
The AISC Library will continue to be open during the final week of the winter term as well as finals week on Wednesday and Thursday 1–5 pm for in-person reference appointments, or by appointment throughout the week. Zoom appointments are also available. To book an appointment, email the librarian, Joy Holland, at Spring term hours will be posted on the library door and shared at the beginning of next term.
The AISC Library Welcomes New Student Assistant, Mary Sweeney!

Each year the library works with students interested in library science, archives, museums, and Indigenous collections to provide training and experience in our Special Library. Some students go on to work in the library field or in academia, and others use the experience to enrich their own research and skills in adjacent fields or in community-focused work. AISC Librarian Joy welcomes Mary Sweeney to the AISC Library space this term. She is already working on cataloging-preparation projects, collection development projects, and patron reference projects! Mary provides some background on her interests and academic path below:

"Hi! I’m Mary Sweeney and I'm Rarámuri (Tarahumara), a Native tribe of Northern Mexico. I’m originally from Fullerton, California and attended Seattle University for my undergraduate degree, where I received two degrees in sociology and history. From there I have joined the Masters in Library Information Sciences track at UCLA; although it is only my first year I’ve dedicated myself to the program and have been focusing on Indigenous librarianship. Working at AISC library has given me the opportunity to not only work in an institutional library setting but along with American Indian Studies works. To me a collection filled with Native-authored texts further proves how far we have come as a community and are still here. When I’m not in the library you can find me at home with my cat painting or reading outside at UCLA."

The AISC Library is Collaborating with The UCLA Center for Primary Research and Training

The UCLA Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) will be collaborating with AISC Library for two or more quarters working on a Special Collection in UCLA Library Special Collections with Native subject matter of high research and aesthetic value. The collection is a glass plate negative collection. Best practices, ethical description, and student research will be guided and supported by the CFPRT director and AISC librarian. A graduate student position is available to support the project:
CFPRT seeks applications from UCLA graduate students for positions that will provide first-hand experience in working with archives and special collections material. CFPRT scholars may work up to 19 hours per week during the academic year, Monday-Friday between 9 am and 5 pm, and are paid $19.54 per hour. A minimum of 12 hours per week is strongly encouraged. Spring 2022 positions will be primarily on-site.  
To be considered for positions, please email an application, letter of interest, and a CV or résumé to:  
Courtney Dean 
Head, Center for Primary Research & Training 
Application deadline for the spring quarter employment is Friday, March 11th. 
Application materials and information about the collaborative project and position description for the Archival Assessment Scholar: American Indian Studies and related fields can be found on the CFPRT site here: 
UCLA American Indian Studies Center acknowledges the Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, So. Channel Islands) and is grateful to have the opportunity to work for the taraaxatom (indigenous peoples) in this place. As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders), and ‘eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present, and emerging.

Copyright © 2022 UCLA American Indian Studies Center, All rights reserved.

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