Dr. Randall Akee and Dr. Wendy Teeter Named to be part of the UC President’s Native American Advisory Council

Two UCLA American Indian Studies faculty members were named to be part of the UC President’s Native American Advisory Council created by University of California President Janet Napolitano. The first meeting is set for February 1 to discuss Native American student and faculty recruitment along with an issue important to many tribes: the return of human remains in the possession of UC campuses.

The UCLA American Indian Studies Center congratulates both Randy and Wendy on this exciting opportunity. Their appointment is a recognition of years of commitment to California Native communities and to Native policy issues.

Dr. Randall Akee is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Public Policy and American Indian Studies. He is a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in June 2006. Prior to his doctoral studies, Dr. Akee earned a Master’s degree in International and Development Economics at Yale University. He also spent several years working for the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs Economic Development Division.

Dr. Akee is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in Labor Studies and the Children’s Groups. He is also a research fellow at the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), a faculty affiliate at the UCLA California Center for Population Research (CCPR) at UCLA and a faculty affiliate at UC Berkelely Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA). His main research interests are Labor Economics, Economic Development and Migration.

Previous research has focused on the determinants of migration and human trafficking, the effect of changes in household income on educational attainment, the effect of political institutions on economic development and the role of property institutions on investment decisions. Current research focuses on income inequality and immobility by race and ethnicity in the US. Dr. Akee has worked on several American Indian reservations, Canadian First Nations, and Pacific Island nations in addition to working in various Native Hawaiian communities.

Dr. Wendy G Teeter is the Curator of Archaeology for the Fowler Museum at UCLA, UCLA NAGPRA Coordinator, and teaches periodically in UCLA American Indian Studies and California State University, Northridge Anthropology Department. She collaborates nationally and internationally with indigenous communities on issues of repatriation and cultural heritage protection. She has embarked on a new collaborative project, Carrying our Ancestors Home funded in part by an Institute of American Cultures Social Justice Grant and by American Indian Studies Center to forefront indigenous voices and experiences around repatriation at UCLA, in Southern California, and beyond. Her efforts at UCLA oversaw 12 tribes and the UCLA administration coordinate the return over 2,000 individuals back to rest. Since 2007, Dr. Teeter has been co-director of the Pimu Catalina Island Archaeology Project, which seeks to understand the indigenous history of the island and Tongva homelands through multi-disciplinary and collaborative methodologies. The Project provides a field school that has educated over 150 students on the importance of community-based indigenous archaeology.

Her interests, lectures, and publications focus on the protection and knowledge of material and non-material culture, indigenous archaeology, and the relationships between humans and the environment in North and Central America. She is also Co-PI for Mapping Indigenous Los Angeles, a community-based website devoted to storytelling through cultural geography and map making as well as providing educational resources and curriculum. Dr. Teeter helped to develop the Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange Program in the Native Nations Law & Policy Center, UCLA School of Law. In June 2011 she co-curated, “Launching A Dream: Reviving Tongva Maritime Traditions,” at the Fowler Museum at UCLA with Cindi Alvitre (Director, Ti’at Society). She serves on several boards and committees including as Chair of the Society for California Archaeology Curation Committee and Editorial Board Member, Heritage & Society Journal.