San Diego State University American Indian Studies Department Logo

News and Events - Archived from 2018

Indigenous Foods Symposium 2018

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month:

A Symposium:

Food for Thought: Indigenous Food Sovereignty & Sustainable Land Management

Friday, November 16
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (lunch on your own noon to 1PM)
Scripps Cottage

This symposium will bring together experts on Indigenous plant restoration, landscape management, and culturally relevant foods. In addition to providing educational information about the theoretical aspects of land management and food sovereignty, the event will feature demonstrations of the preparation of traditional California Indian foods, and hands-on learning about the ingredients of original California cuisine.

Speakers include: Abe Sanchez (Purepecha) and Heidi Lucero (Descendent of the Acjachemen and Ohlone Tribes) from the Chia Café Collective, Diania Caudell (San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Mission Indians) and Ronald Flores (Mesa Grande elder), Paige Giberson (Cherokee from Georgia): “Sister Cricket and her Incredible Edible Insects,” and SDSU Assistant Professor Peter Nelson (Coast Miwok and a tribal citizen of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria)

Sponsors: SDSU Department of American Indian Studies, the SDSU Native American Student Alliance, and the SDSU Instructionally Related Activities Fund.

Flyer for Food for Thought Symposium

Nike N7 Native American Night with the SDSU Aztecs 2018

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month:

Nike N7 Native American Night with the SDSU Aztecs
Tuesday, November 27
7:30 p.m. (vs. Jackson State)
Viejas Arena

SDSU Men's Basketball is partnering with Nike N7 as part of a special celebration during Native American Heritage Month. Nike N7 is Nike's commitment to bring sports and all of its benefits to Native American communities. San Diego State will make a departure from their traditional colors for the game, donning turquoise Nike N7 uniforms. The game will include a pre -game performance honoring Native American communities and culture, and the Inter Tribal Sports cheerleaders will join the SDSU cheerleaders for a special performance during half-time.

Read more about the game uniform on Nike's website: Nike's article about the N7 uniform.

Sponsored by SDSU Athletics, Inter Tribal Sports, Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethics Affairs, Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars and Leaders Program, the Native American Student Alliance, and the SDSU Department of American Indian Studies.

CLICK HERE for discounted tickets ($10 each) - use promo code N7.

Flyer for 2019 Nike N7 Basketball Game

California's American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival 2018

Sent on behalf of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center and CSUSM's American Indian Student Alliance:

6th Annual California's American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival
November 1-3, 2018
Pechanga Resort and Casino

We would like to extend an invitation to our California's American Indian and Indigenous Film Festival at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. The event will take place November 1-3. It is the largest indigenous film festival held in Indian country! This year we are celebrating our powerful indigenous women and bringing attention to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement. Other themes will include indigenous environmentalism/environmental justice and contemporary native arts and culture. On Saturday, November 2, at noon, contemporary native artists and musicians will host an interactive workshop for native youth, going through the process of creating a song and video. We are also excited to add that Indian Horse (produced by Clint Eastwood) will be the updated feature for Friday night! VIP guests TBA!

Our festival is held by Indians, for Indians, on Indian land! All students are free at the box office, the youth track is free with registration, and each night is $10 for regular tickets. Visit for our program and details. Hope to see you there!

Indigenous Environmental Justice in Southern California Beach Landscapes

SDSU Philosophy Department & Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs and the SDSU Department of American Indian Studies presents:

Indigenous Environmental Justice in Southern California Beach Landscapes

Lecture by Dina Gilio-Whitaker

   Thursday, November 8

   Time: 3:00 p.m.

   Location: Scripps Cottage

Professor Gilio-Whitaker will discuss her work on environmental justice in Indian country, which is the topic of her forthcoming new book, As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock. Taking Standing Rock as the most immediate example of what environmental injustice is for American Indians, the book examines what it means to "indigenize" environmental justice discourse, activism, and legal frameworks. Much of her research and teaching also focuses on examples specific to Southern California beach spaces, which interacts particularly with development and surf culture, and will be the highlight of her talk.

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is Policy Director, Senior Research Associate, and Faculty at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. She is an award-winning journalist and essayist, and lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos. Dina’s research interests focus on Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, environmental justice, and education. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. Dina is co-author with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of Beacon Press’s “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans, and is under contract with Beacon Press for her forthcoming book, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock.

This event is free and open to the public. Community members are welcome to attend. No pre-registration is required.

More Information: 619-594-6991


Flyer for 2019 Dina Gilio-Whitaker Lecture

International Peace Village at SDSU 2018

Hosted by the SDSU International Center

International Peace Village

Thursday, November 15

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Location: Student Union Courtyard

The International Student Center (ISC) in collaboration with ONE SDSU Community cordially invites you to participate in the 62nd Annual International Peace Village festival.

International Peace Village aims to promote global awareness and international goodwill through cultural performance, country showcase, international music, arts, fashion show and more! Join us in celebrating SDSU's rich campus culture and the many benefits of global education.

Sign up to host a country table, study abroad program, perform a dance/musical piece, or any cultural performance of your choice. Remember to wear your cultural attire for the international fashion show! Deadline to reserve a table and/or spot for cultural performance is Monday, November 5th by 4:00 p.m.

Please contact or call 619-594 2384 if you have any questions.

Flyer for International Peace Village 2019

AIR Programs Banquet 2018

Help support the American Indian Recruitment Programs at the

AIR Annual Fundraiser and Awards Banquet

Thursday, November 8

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: SDSU Parma Payne Alumni Center

Please join AIR in celebrating 25 years of service to Native youth, by attending the upcoming Fundraiser and Awards Banquet at San Diego State University, in the Parma Payne Alumni Center, on Thursday, November 8.

AIR Programs has proudly served the San Diego County region for over 25 years, through their mentoring and tutorial programs. AIR's programs provide our Native youth the tools needed to compete and succeed within the academic setting and create opportunities towards higher education.

The evening’s events will include presentations highlighting this year’s accomplishments, and awards for AIR's students, mentors, and community members. If you cannot attend please support the programs through a donation towards AIR's Native youth and academic programs.

For more information, visit AIR's website at

Perceptions of Time: An Indigenous Perspective

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month:

Perceptions of Time: An Indigenous Perspective

Lecture by Michael Connolly Miskwish

   Tuesday, November 6

   Time: 7:00 p.m.

   Location: SHW-011 (in the Storm Hall West Extension Building)

Indigenous belief systems were deeply rooted in understandings of natural cycles and balance in world view. For the Kumeyaay in particular, the celestial calendar was central to understanding and honoring the world around us. Michael Miskwish is a Kumeyaay Historian who has researched and written on Maay Uuyow, or Kumeyaay Astronomy. He will present his understanding of the interrelationship of Maay Uuyow with traditional Kumeyaay lifeways and its continuance into the present day.

Michael Connolly Miskwish is a Kumeyaay from the Campo Indian Reservation. He has written and worked extensively on Kumeyaay history, traditional environmental knowledge and resource economics. His work has been shown in the Museum of Man in San Diego, the Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. among many others.

This event is part of SDSU's 2018-19 Common Experience Program: Experience Time

This event is free and open to the public. Community members are welcome to attend. No pre-registration is required.

More Information: 619-594-6991


Flyer for Perceptions of Time Lecture

View lecture on NASA's Facebook page

Cultural Appropriation Workshop with OXDX 2018

SDSU NASA presents:

Cultural Appropriation Workshop with OXDX

Wednesday, October 24

Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Location: Center for Intercultural Relations, Student Union 2nd Floor

With Halloween around the corner, we would like to invite you all to an educational workshop on cultural appropriation with Native American costumes. We are honored to have renowned Diné (Navajo) artist, Jared Yazzie, lead this dialogue.

Here is some information from their official site:

OXDX Clothing is a Native American-owned business based out of Tempe, Arizona. Owner, designer, and artist Jared Yazzie (Diné - Navajo) has been producing artwork since 2009 to increase awareness of Native issues and to show the beauty of Native culture.

"OXDX" is an abbreviation of the word "Overdose," a word Yazzie uses to describe the state of modern society. Sometimes we need to pull back and remember our culture, tradition, and those who have sacrificed before us.

More Information:


Facebook/Instagram: @sdsunasa

Phone: 619-594-6991

Flyer for OXDX Event

Indigenous Peoples' Day Rally 2018

SDSU NASA presents:

Indigenous Peoples' Day Rally

Thursday, August 4

Time: noon - 1:30 p.m.

Location: in front of Hepner Hall


More Information:


Facebook/Instagram: @sdsunasa

Phone: 619-594-6991

2018 National UNITY Conference

Wait! What!? You can actually study sports academically?!?!?

Ever thought about:

¬why some sports are way more popular than others

¬why some communities/cultures gravitate to some sports and not others

¬why women’s sports don’t get as much as attention as men’s

¬how sports creates or destroys racial boundaries…

…then ANTH 445 Culture, Gender and Race in Sports is the class for you!

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30–10:45 a.m. with Professor David Kamper, Fall 2018

Enroll via the SDSU Class Schedule.

2018 National UNITY Conference

UNITY Planning Committee Seeking Volunteers

The 2018 National UNITY Conference will be held Thursday, July 5 through Monday, July 9, 2018, at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, California. More than 1,800 attendees are expected for the largest Native youth leadership gathering in the country.

The conference will include keynote speakers Supaman, Matika Wilbur, Brooke Simpson, and Brian Yazzie, as well as 25+ workshops, fun and unique peer-led fitness activities, more than 50 exhibitors and vendors, and unique activities, including the UNITY Fire, the UNITY Drum, the UNITY College and Career Expo, a cultural exchange, talent night, and the annual UNITY Banquet & Awards Celebration and Dance.

Volunteers will receive free registration for the days of the conference for which they register. If you are interested in volunteering please fill out the 2018 UNITY Conference Volunteer Sign-Up Form. A representative from the National UNITY office will be in touch.

More information: 858-822-0048 or

2018 American Indian Graduation and Honoring Ceremony

Congratulations to all of our recent grads! The 2018 American Indian Graduation and Honoring Ceremony was held on May 4th at the Mission Trails Visitor Center.

2018 American Indian Graduation Ceremony

We celebrated the achievements of the following graduates:

  Elizabeth Ah Nee (Kanaka Ma’oli)

  Jessica Atencio (Acjachemen)

  Ami Burt

   Mark Cervantes (Penelakut First Nation)

  Cheynoa Curo (Barona Band of Mission Indians)

  Misty Faulkner (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina)

   Cassady Lynch (Mvskoke/Cherokee)

   Marissa Mendoza (Descendent of the Klikitat people of the Yakama Nation, Nez Perce, & Tongva people)

   Kiowa Montoya (Taos Pueblo)

   Anna Ochman

   Antonio Rosales (Tohono O’dham, Yaqui, Oglala Lakota Sioux)

   Jeanie Runner

  Victoria Sleeter

Additionally, the ceremony included recognition of H. Paul Cuero, Jr., of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation, who receivied an honorary doctorate from SDSU at this year's College of Arts and Letters commencement on May 11th.

We also acknowledged the service of Professor Linda Locklear, who is retiring after 30 years as a lecturer at SDSU.

Photo Album - 2018 American Indian Studies Graduation & Honoring Ceremony

SDSU Assistant Professor Dr. Olivia Chilcote

Cal Poly Pomona publishes an article featuring Dr. Olivia Chilcote

The Cal Poly Pomona website has published an "Alumni Spotlight" of SDSU American Indian Studies Assistant Professor Olivia Chilcote. Dr. Chilcote received her  B.A. in the Ethnic & Women’s Studies Department at Cal Poly in 2011.  The article discusses Dr. Chilcote's upcoming book project, her research, teaching, and recent presentations.

Link to Cal Poly Pomona article

Campo Chairman H. Paul Cuero

Chairman H. Paul Cuero to receive honorary degree from SDSU

The SDSU NewsCenter has announced that H. Paul Cuero, Jr., of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation, will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from SDSU at the College of Arts and Letters commencement ceremony on May 11.

Link to NewCenter article

Additionally, we plan to honor Chairman Cuero at the Native American Graduation and Honoring Ceremony, to be held May 4, at the Mission Trails Visitor Center (5:30-7:00 p.m.). If you would like to attend, please contact the Department of American Indian Studies at 619-594-6991.

2018 NASA Executive Board Elections

SDSU Native American Student Alliance Executive Board Elections

The Native American Student Alliance will hold Executive Board elections on Monday, April 23, at 5:00 p.m., in Room 318 in the Arts and Letters Building.

Students are encouraged to apply for positions. If you are interested, please email

NASA Facebook

Dr. Tiffany King

Dr. Tiffany King to speak April 19th

The Bread and Roses Center of The Department of Women's Studies presents:

Feminist Research Coloquium - Annual Scholarship Lecture 

   Dr. Tiffany King (Georgia State University)

   Abolition in “Real Time”: Praxis and Relationality

   Thursday, April 19, 7-9pm, West Commons 220

Tiffany Lethabo King’s research focuses on Black gender formation and sexuality at the intersection of slavery and indigenous genocide in the U.S. and Canada. Her book project The Black Shoals: Off Shore Formations of Black and Indigenous Studies is under contract with Duke University Press. In it, she argues that scholarly traditions within Black Studies that examine Indigenous genocide alongside slavery in the Americas have forged ethical and generative engagements with Native studies—and Native thought—that continue to reinvent the political imaginaries of abolition and decolonization.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies, the Department of American Indian Studies, and the Instructionally Related Activities Fund of the College of Arts and Letters.

Tiffany King Lecture Flyer (PDF version)

Tiffany King Lecture Flyer (JPG version)

Marissa Mendoza

CityBeat article on Mission architecture features student Marissa Mendoza

Check out the recent San Diego CityBeat article, "The Case Against Mission Revival Archictecture," featuring SDSU American Indian Studies and Sustainability major, and NASA President, Marissa Mendoza (Yakama Nation, Nez Perce, and Tongva).

Pick up a copy, or check out a link to the article here:

Link to CityBeat article

2017 SDSU Pow Wow

46th Annual SDSU Powwow

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - Location: ENS Field adjacent to Music Building

  Bird Singing - 10AM

  Gourd Dancing - 11AM

  Grand Entry - noon

Admission is to free and open to all. Parking permits may be purchased from campus pay permit machines for $2.00 per hour (visit the Parking Services website for information about parking).

Vendor Information:

General Information: 619-594-6991 or NASA Facebook Page

2018 Powwow Flyer - PDF Version

2018 Powwow Flyer - JPG Version

Panel Discussion about USD's Serra Hall

Professor Chilcote to join panel discussion at USD on February 27

The University of San DIego will hold a discussion panel:


        Tuesday, February 27, 6:00-7:30 p.m. with reception to follow.

        Warren Auditorium (MRH), University of San Diego

The discussion panel will include:

   Dr. Olivia Chilcote (Luiseño), SDSU

   Dr. Theresa Gregor (Kumeyaay), CSULB

   Dr. Michael Gonzalez, USD

   Alexii Signona (Amah Mutsun)

   Dr. Steven W. Hackel, UCR

   Dr. Mike Williams (Moderator), USD

USD Panel Discussion Event Flyer

Michael Connolly Miskwish

Lecture by Michael Connolly Miskwish - February 27

In remembrance of Dr. Linda S. Parker on the 3rd anniversary of her passing, the SDSU Department of American Indian Studies presents The 2018 Linda Parker Memorial Lecture.

Please join us on Tuesday, February 27, at 7PM, in Room 60 in the North Education Building on the San Diego State University campus.

Guest speaker Michael Connolly Miskwish will present: Reservation Economics: How the Colonial Legacy Continues to Undermine Full Self-Determination.

This event is free and open to the public. For information, view the Flyer, or contact the American Indian Studies Department at 619-594-6991.

Shurene Premo

Shurene Premo awarded NASW Birdwoman Scholarship

Please join us in congratulating Shurene Premo, SDSU School of Social Work undergraduate student, for being awarded the NASW Native American Birdwoman Scholarship. This tremendous honor is awarded to Native undergraduate students in their final year as well as masters level students who are committed to a career in social work. Shurene is also the proud recipient of the highly competitive Cobell Scholarship for the 2017-2018 school year. Shurene is from the Great Basin Territory in Northern Nevada, representing the Tosa Wihi (White Knife) clan, and comes from the Shoshone Paiute Nation.

She will be a senior next year majoring in Social Work at SDSU with a minor in American Indian Studies. Shurene is diligently pursuing her BASW and excelling in both her classes and personal commitment to helping others. She attends school full time, maintains a job on campus in the Student Abilities Success Center, and is working with an American Indian Studies professor to learn her Native language. She has also made the Dean’s list for Spring and Fall 2017. Shurene is committed to attaining her degree in order to return to her people and work as a social worker. Shurene’s specific interest is in working in child and family services assisting families who have entered the child welfare system. She has spent the last four summers working directly with Tribal Family Services and County Child Welfare on ICWA cases as well as in direct service of families impacted by addiction in her Native American Community. When asked about receiving this award, she replied "I am grateful to NASW for supporting me on my college journey. I am a strong, resilient, determined Newe-Numa Wa'ippe, (Shoshone-Paiute Woman). I am doing this for myself, my culture and my people. This is the Seventh Generation and I am following what my father always told me, to stay on the Red Road to keep balanced spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically." We know Shurene will be an amazing contributor to the field of social work and celebrate her unyielding commitment to her education, personal growth and service in Indigenous communities.

To learn more about the support available to SDSU Native students via the SERVE program, please contact:
Tamara Strohauer, MSW, ASW
SERVE: Indigenous Social Workers for Change Program Coordinator

Native Voices at the Autry presents: Bingo Hall

Native Voices at the Autry Presents: Bingo Hall

March 9-25, 2018
See website for days and times
The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

Native Voices at the Autry presents the world premiere of Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, Laguna, Isleta Pueblo), directed by Jon Lawerence Rivera.

Edward Anaya makes all the calls in the Pueblo - well, he calls the numbers at the senior center's bimonthly bingo. But college acceptance letters kick-start an identity crisis: who will Edward be if he leaves home and bingo behind? Like Ferris Bueller in a Pueblo, Edward knows just what to say until romantic rejection, family antics, and community pressures leave him tongue-tied. New playwright Dillon Chitto brings the Pueblo to the American theatre in this hilarious new play about tradition in a fast changing world.

More Information:


46th Annual SDSU NASA Pow Wow

46th Annual SDSU Pow Wow

April 7, 2018
Time TBA
Softball Field (adjacent to the Music Building), SDSU

We are honored to announce that the Native American Student Alliance (NASA) will be hosting the 46th Annual Powwow on April 7, 2018. The Pow Wow is held to honor Native American tribal cultures and traditions. Admission is free and open to all.

We will post more details when they are available.

More Information: 619-594-6991

Vendor Information:

Save the Date Flyer for 2018 Pow Wow

Youth Empowerment Conference 2018

2018 Youth Empowerment Conference

February 9, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Aztec Student Union, SDSU

The Native American Youth Empowerment Conference will bring approximately 150 Native middle school and high school students to campus for a full day of workshops, speakers, and a campus tour. The purpose of the conference is to promote higher education to Native youth, and give them the tools they need to start the process of preparing for, applying to, and attending an institution of higher learning. The conference is organized and sponsored by the Native American Student Alliance, the Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars and Leaders Program, the Department of American Indian Studies, as well as by volunteers from the local community, and it receives funding support from the university and donations from local tribes.


California Indian Conference 2018

SAVE THE DATE - 32nd Annual California Indian Conference

32nd Annual California Indian Conference
April 5-6, 2018
Humboldt State University

The 32nd Annual California Indian Conference will be held on the campus of Humboldt State University April 5-6, 2018. Each year, this conference brings together hundreds of California Indians, educators, tribal scholars, academics, students, public agencies, organizations and institutions, and the general public.

For more information and updates on the conference, please visit the conference Facebook page at