Native Bruin: Past, Present, & Future – Vivian C. Garcia


This March 2024 we are highlighting Native Bruin, Vivian C. Garcia (Cherokee), class of 2011.

Vivian C. Garcia, a proud member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is a dedicated advocate for the Native American community in Los Angeles. With ties to both Los Angeles and Oklahoma, she has devoted her career to promoting the well-being and unity of Native people within Los Angeles and Indian County.

After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in American Indian Studies at UCLA in 2011, she pursued a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College with a specialization in Trauma Studies. Vivian began her professional journey by providing direct services to women, children, and families, and has since risen to her current leadership position as the Tribal & Community Liaison for United American Indian Involvement (UAII), the largest nonprofit provider of health and human services for Native Americans in Los Angeles. In her role, she plays a crucial part in fostering positive relationships and effective communication with tribal governments, communities, and organizations.

Vivian works closely with tribal leaders, representatives, and internal stakeholders to facilitate productive dialogue, enhance cultural competency, and establish mutually beneficial partnerships with always holding the values of her Cherokee heritage. As a mother of two daughters, Kaia and Ava – Vivian loves the role of being a mother and is strongly committed to passing on her Native traditions to the future generations.

During my time at UCLA, I gained the deeper understanding of advocacy through my role of Vice President of AISA. This experience allowed me to delve deep into various Native issues which in turn shaped my activism. UCLA played a pivotal role in solidifying my passion for advocacy and community service, particularly with uplifting native communities in Los Angeles.  I am thankful beyond words for the invaluable lessons, and education I received as a student at UCLA, which has shaped me profoundly.”

This March 2024 we are highlighting Native Bruin, Vivian C. Garcia (Cherokee), class of 2011.