Home Events Lighting a Path Forward: UC Land Grants, Public Memory, and Tovaangar

Lighting a Path Forward: UC Land Grants, Public Memory, and Tovaangar

Public Event:
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
9 am to 5 pm
UCLA James West Alumni Cente

Join UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center for an interdisciplinary public symposium on October 15th about the past, present, and future of the University of California’s relationship with tribes. On the 15th, three panels will be held, discussing UCLA’s centennial anniversary with respect to California Indians, the current state of relationships and projects between the UCs and tribal communities and institutions, and future innovative practices working with tribal communities. On October 16th, three workshops will be conducted whose goal is to create policy papers for developing community-engaged classrooms, creating better practices for American Indian and Indigenous retention and recruitment, and generating practices that ensure repatriation and maintenance of cultural heritage. This symposium is part of a series of 50th-anniversary events sponsored by the AISC.

Mural by River Garza (Gabrieleno/Tongva)

Register for the conference at http://bit.ly/Lighting-a-Path-Forward for the October 15th event.


ProgramDownload a PDF of the program

OCT 15, 2019 Day 1: Public Symposium

8:30–9:00 Coffee and Bagels

9:00–9:15 Welcome, Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca), Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter, and Shannon Speed (Chickasaw)

9:15–10:00 Keynote: Where You Stand: 50 site-specific years in retrospect, Cindi Alvitre (Gabrieleno/Tongva), T’iat Society, NAGPRA Coordinator & Faculty at CSULB American Indian Studies
Cindi Alvitre will reflect on the Tongva relationship with UCLA American Indian Studies. This year marks the 50th anniversary of American Indian Studies at UCLA. For the local tribes, it was a parallel universe, one that existed as a liminal state, invisible but present and more frequently – unacknowledged. As time has passed, the metaphoric rivers have converged, and the Tongva, Tatavium and Chumash have a genuine seat at the table. The journey has been long and difficult and from it a genuine collaboration has emerged from one of the most prestigious academic institutions in our collective country. As a new cultural confidence has emerged, we look forward to a continued relationship that will endure seven generations into the future.

10:00–11:30 PAST: Histories of the Land, UCs, and Land-Grant Institutions
This roundtable will explore the establishment of Western educational institutions in California and their essential role to the state’s development as an economic, political and educational leader in the region. Most importantly, we will focus on what that ascension has meant to California Indians who have conducted their own tribal educational systems since before contact with white settlers.
Moderator: Mishuana Goeman, UCLA

  • Carole Goldberg, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Law School, UCLA
  • Craig Torres (Gabrieleno/Tongva)
  • Laura Miranda (Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)
  • Rudy Ortega Jr. (Tribal President, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians)

11:30–12:00 Lunch Break

12:00–1:00 Keynote: From Tovaangar to UCLA, Theresa Stewart Ambo (Gabrieleno/Tongva, Luiseño), Assistant Professor of Education, UCSD
Several US colleges and universities have publicly acknowledged and atoned for the role that chattel slavery played in the establishment of their institutions; however, postsecondary institutions continue resist recognizing their role in the colonization and dispossession of Indigenous communities. In this presentation, Dr. Ambo will provide a documented link between the original inhabitants of Tovaangar and UCLA, tracing the illegal seizure of land by Spanish missionaries to construct Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in 1771, privatization of land into rancheros under Mexican governance in 1833, and subsequent subdivision and sale of property by private landowners under the US after 1950. Lighting a path forward, this history underscores the responsibility of land-grant institutions—in this case the UC system and UCLA—to fortify institutional relationships with and reconsider accountability to Indigenous nations and communities.

1:00–2:15   PRESENT: Current Tribal Relationships in the California Education System
This roundtable will examine the current state of American Indian education in California and current work between tribal communities and institutions. What is working, what is not, and what can we learn from current projects that bring tribal communities and education together?
Moderator: Ananda Marin (Choctaw), UCLA

  • Joely Proudfit (Luiseño), CSUSM
  • Joyce Perry (Acjachemen), UCI
  • Beth Rose Middleton (African-Caribbean and European), UC Davis
  • Mia Lopez (Chumash), UCSB Tribal Liaison for the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation

2:15–2:30 Break

2:30–3:50 FUTURE: Lighting a Path Forward—Beyond Collecting Indians
The history of Indian education has been painful and problematic, from the collecting of ancestors for “scientific” study to forced assimilation and miseducation that have led to erasure and exclusion. This roundtable will lay the groundwork of Indigenous futurities, discussing how not only to come to terms with the past, but move forward with educational practices that enable our communities to thrive.
Moderator: Nancy Marie Mithlo (Chiricahua Apache), UCLA

  • Robin Maria DeLugan (Lenape/Cherokee), UCM
  • Randall Akee (Native Hawaiian), UCLA
  • Ricardo Torres (Wintu), CSU Sacramento
  • Keri Bradford (Choctaw), UCSB

4:00–5:20 California Indian Tribal Listening Session
Moderator: Angela R. Riley (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), UCLA

  • Cindi Alvitre (Gabrieleno/Tongva)
  • Mia Lopez (Chumash)
  • Julia Bogany (Cultural Advisor, Gabrieleno/Tongva)
  • Desiree Martinez (Gabrieleno/Tongva)
  • Laura Miranda (Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)
  • Joyce Perry (Acjachemen)
  • Joely Proudfit (Luiseño)
  • Rudy Ortega (Tribal President, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians)
  • Craig Torres (Gabrieleno/Tongva)
  • Ricardo Torres (Wintu)

5:20–5:30 Julia Bogany (Cultural Advisor,Gabrieleno/Tongva), Closing


Co-sponsored by the UCLA American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program, American Indian Alumni of UCLA, UCLA American Indian Studies Center, UCLA Center for Community Learning, UCLA Department of Anthropology, UCLA Institute of American Cultures, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and Tribal Learning Community & Education Exchange.

UCLA is a tobacco-free campus. All-day parking ($13) and short-term parking (payable at pay stations) are available in Lots 2, 3 and 4 (enter the campus at Hilgard and Westholme avenues). For more information, call 310-825-7315.



Oct 15 2019


9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


James West Alumni Center


American Indian Studies Center