On behalf of the American Indian Studies Center, the AIS IDP, and the Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Issues, we write with our deep condolences and to honor the passing of Julia Bogany, who joined the ancestors this past weekend. Julia was a Tongva cultural educator, innovative teacher, appointed cultural advisor of the Gabrielino Tongva and counselor to many institutions. At UCLA she was part of numerous projects and undertakings to ensure that campus broadened its relationships to the original land caretakers. In addition to participating in many of our events, Julia was a community collaborator on research projects such as the NSF-funded Diverse Perspectives on Water, on which she was currently serving as a community advisor. She also served in an advisory role to the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens, helping us to establish Tongva-orientated spaces on campus. Julia provided key input on the development of the UCLA Land Acknowledgement and worked extensively with the Special Advisor on topical issues ranging from the establishment of a reflection area on UCLA campus, returning of ancestors, developing important Tongva Cultural education with Mapping Indigenous LA, connecting between Kuruvungna Springs and UCLA community, to addressing other areas of Tongva presence on campus. In addition, she was a collaborator in the community coalition Indigenous Education Now, of which the AISC is also a part. These were just first steps, and Julia had many plans for deepening our connections at UCLA.
Her presence and guidance throughout the years will be deeply missed, as will her friendliness and passion for youth and education. We are honored to have known her, thankful for the opportunity to have worked with her, and grateful to have learned from her. Julia’s strength, wisdom, and cultural knowledge will be truly missed by all of us here at UCLA.
Shannon Speed, Director UCLA American Indian Studies Center
Randall Akee, Chair American Indian Studies Program
Mishuana Goeman, Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Issues