To honor Native American Heritage Month, there will be a speaker series at UCLA that highlights the broad range of scholarship about issues related to Indigenous people. Each Friday in November an Indigenous scholar will give a brief overview of some of her or his current research and then conduct an interactive discussion with the moderator and audience members.

“My hope in organizing this during November’s Native American Heritage month is to spotlight the diversity of Native American faculty on UCLA’s campus and the kinds of innovative research they all pursue,” said Randall Akee, chair of the American Indian studies interdepartmental program and an associate professor of public policy. “I hope that others get to know the very talented and exciting UCLA faculty members at UCLA by attending this event. Native American and Indigenous peoples have a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and research pursuits.”

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Akee hopes that the series will provide a less academic and more informal platform for Native American faculty. The talks will provide an opportunity for more junior faculty to share their emerging research, and for audience members, who may not have any prior knowledge in the field being discussed, to interact with the faculty and their ideas by asking questions and engaging in discussion.

The series also aims to give a depiction of the experiences of Native Americans in higher education and the relationship between Indigenous groups and land-grant institutions. Akee said the most important things universities can do is to provide support to faculty, staff and students and the broader community.

“This can mean the recruiting and hiring of Native American faculty and staff,” Akee said. “It also requires support and retention efforts while employed at these institutions. The same applies for students as well. Increasingly, the UC campuses are acknowledging their presence on Indigenous people’s lands and as land-grant institutions the responsibilities that come with that in serving the community.”

Friday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m.

Speaker: Juliann Anesi (Samoan), an assistant professor of gender studies.

Friday, Nov. 12, 2 p.m.

Speaker: Desi Small-Rodriguez (Northern Cheyenne and Chicana), an assistant professor of sociology and American Indian studies.

Friday, Nov. 19, 2 p.m.

Speaker: Kyle Mays (Black and Saginaw Chippewa), an assistant professor of African American studies, American Indian studies and history.

Friday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m.

Speaker: Nanibaa’ Garrison (Dine), an associate professor at the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics, and the division of general internal medicine.