To help American Indian students with the transition to university life, several American Indian groups at UCLA are hosting the UCLA American Indian Welcome from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7 in the Rolfe Hall Courtyard.
The gathering will provide Native students with the opportunity to forge new friendships with fellow students, meet professors and professional staff who can become mentors, and learn about campus programs and opportunities.
“The welcome event is a crucial opportunity for American Indian/Native American and indigenous students to build community and identify resources available to them on campus,” said Stephen Pilcher (Oglala Lakota), who is the coordinator of operations and events at the UCLA American Indian Studies Center. “Indigenous peoples’ values are firmly rooted in relationships and connections to land and resources.”
Current students and university alumni will be on hand to share their experiences and offer advice to freshmen and transfers for how to adjust and succeed in a new educational environment. Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca), who serves as the UCLA special advisor to the chancellor on Native American and indigenous affairs, and Shannon Speed (Chickasaw), director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, will be speaking, among other campus leaders.
Information tables will be setup for attendees and reception refreshments will be available. The annual event has been held since 2013 and attracts about 100 participants.
“American Indian and Indigenous students bring to UCLA their cultural knowledge, identity, strength and resilience that evolved from this land and their respective communities,” Pilcher said. “The welcome event offers an opportunity for Native leaders on campus to acknowledge the significant achievements of these students and mobilize them as emerging leaders.”
The welcome is hosted by UCLA American Indian Student Association, UCLA American Indian Studies Center and the UCLA American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program.