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American Indian Studies       (562) 985-5305

  • “Decolonizing the Anti-Violence Movement” – A lecture by Dr. Andrea Smith
  • Ti’at Restoration Update
  • 44th Annual CSULB Pow Wow at Puvungna
  • Take an American Indian Law Course from an American Indian Superior Court Judge
  • New Minor in Native American Cultures!
  • Measure What You Value


Welcome Freshman and Transfer Students!

Welcome to CSULB (Cal State Puvungna) and to the American Indian Studies Website.  We hope that you will come by our office and visit our website often to keep up to date with our ongoing activities. We are excited to be debuting our new AIS Minor in Native American Cultures this Fall, as the new minor will allow you to enhance your degree with a minor in American Indian Studies and also graduate on time.

Link to New AIS Minor


Over 240 Attend the CSULB Ethnic Studies Founders Forum in the University Ballrooms

On September 25th over 240 students, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni gathered in celebration of 45 years of Ethnic Studies at CSULB.   Four Founders offered reflections on their experiences in the struggles and work, which led to the founding of American Indian Studies, Africana Studies, Asian American Studies and Chicano and Latino Studies at CSULB.

The founders discussed the socio‐political and cultural context, local and national, in which their initiatives took place; the critical issues involved; similarities and distinctions of understandings and approaches; the indispensable role of students; and the value and future of ethnic studies in providing a truly multicultural and quality education.

Representing American Indian Studies was Dr. Marcus Young Owl who was an active American Indian student when the AIS program was founded. Special thanks to all of those who made this event so successful.

American Indian Student Welcome & Orientation

Posted on September 3, 2014

Student Faculty Mixer

Congratulations to the Organizers of the American Indian Student Orientation and the Tiat Restoration Kick Off Event

The American Indian Student Welcome and Orientation was held on Friday, September 12 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Students, Faculty and Staff met in at the University Student Union (USU) Room 303 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm for introductions and lunch.  Following lunch we all moved down to the USU’s Bowling Alley and Billiards from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  American Indian Students make up .5% of the student body at CSULB.  See Link to flyer below.

AI Student Welcome Orientation Flyer

Tiat Restoration Mixer  4:15 September 12, 2014

Following the American Indian Student Welcome, new and continuing American Indian Students, Staff and Faculty were introduced to members of the Tiat Society who shared the history and meaning of the Tiat and shared a Tongva Song.  All were welcomed by Dean Goldshani of the College of Engeneering and our new American Indian Science and Engeneering Student Chapter Faculty Advisor, Dr. David Stout.  The 27 foot long Plank Canoe (Tiat) is being repaired in the Engeneering Department and students will have the opportunity to learn more about the significance of this iconic vessel and assist in the restoration of the Tiat during the semester.

Recommended Courses for New Students:

Two courses that meet GE credit are AIS 101, Introduction to American Indian People.  This course is a great introduction to American Indian Studies while AIS 319, The Ethnic Experience in the US is a great introduction to Ethnic Studies.   A new course, AIS 450, Explores American Indian Indigenous Cinema, films directed and/or produced by Indigenous peoples.  AIS 220, Introduction to American Indian Museum Studies is a very popular AIS course with a focus on how American Indian Culture is displayed in Museums and the discipline of Cultural Resource Management.

Link to AIS Courses


Interesting Things to do at CSULB

There are plenty of opportunities to meet and build friendships with other students at the various American Indian Studies, American Indian Student Council and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society events during the semester. Come back to this site to learn more about these opportunities.


We Are Changing        

The American Indian Studies Program has established an ongoing partnership with Anthropology and other Departments to offer a revised 18 unit minor in Native American Cultures for students in majors leading to professions that impact the lives of American Indian People. Soon students will be able to earn a minor in AIS and graduate on time. Museum Studies/CRM, Anthropology, Social Work, Art History and Film are the first areas to be developed with the new minor that should be on the books in the Fall of 2014. Students currently taking the AIS Minor in American Indian Studies who are interested in the new option for the AIS Minor in Native American Cultures are encouraged to meet with the Director of the AIS Program, Craig Stone.


Forty-Five Years of American Indian Studies at CSULB

Founded in 1968, the American Indian Studies Program will celebrate forty-five years as an independent program at Cal State Long Beach. Located on the ancient village site of Puvungna and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Sacred Site and the birthplace of an Indigenous Religion, CSULB is referred to as “the Beach” in reference to our location on the Pacific Ocean and as “Cal State Puvungna” in acknowledgement of the significance of our location at a sacred site that continues to be used for prayer and ceremony today. Serving one of the largest Urban American Indian populations in the United States, our urban intertribal American Indian traditions are celebrated during the second weekend of March at the largest and one of the oldest student sponsored event at Cal State Long Beach, the annual CSULB Pow-Wow. Now forty-four years old, over six thousand students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members attend our annual celebration of life that acknowledges the contributions of American Indians at Cal State Long Beach.


 Tiat Restoration Update

The Cal State Long Beach American Indian Science and Engineering Student Chapter will be repairing the Moomat Ahiko at CSULB this Summer and Fall Semester of 2014.

The Moomat Ahiko is a plank canoe that for the past 20 years has provided the Tongva and neighboring First Nations the pride and unity around the Indigenous Maritime culture . Since its conception, the Ti’At has succeeded in a variety of cultural voyages and village hops. Since the participation in the Ti’At Festivals in the island of Pimu (Catalina island), and participation at the Aquarium of the Pacific, International Music Festival, etc., the Moommat Ahiko has proven to be a sea worthy and cultural iconic vessel. Yet along with the uniqueness, the cultural renaissance of the Tongva Nation has been an illumination of the success of the Ti’At and Tongva peoples. And because of this success and past activity, the wear and tear of the Plank Canoe, it is time for repair and continuing of building a crew for future voyages.

Contact Vincent Holguin for more information at:


Link to American Indian Student Clubs

Image of Traditional Plank Canoe

Image of Ti’At by Magallanes and Edwards

About the Photographers


Over 200 attend the lecture of internationally acclaimed artist, Edgar Heap of Birds.

The lecture about his work took place on Tuesday, April 15, at 7:00 pm at the William Link Theater (UT-108) followed by a book signing of Heap of Birds’ book from the 2007 Venice Biennial including a DVD.

Link to Video of his California/Tongva  Native Hosts / Pitzer Public Art Project


New painting from the NEUF Series


  Link to artist website

Heap of Birds received his Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1979), his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (1976) and has undertaken graduate studies at The Royal College of Art, London, England. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts (2008).

The artist has exhibited his works at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, New York, New York, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, Documenta, Kassal, Germany, Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland, University Art Museum, Berkeley, California, Association for Visual Arts Museum, Cape Town, South Africa, Lewallen Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Hong Kong Art Center, China, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia, Grand Palais, Paris, France and the Venice Biennale, Italy.

He has served as visiting lecturer in London, England, Western Samoa, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Barcelona, Spain, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Norrkoping, Sweden, Hararre, Zimbabwe, Verona, Italy, Adelaide, Australia and India.

Photo of Edgar Heap of Birds

Heap of Birds has taught as Visiting Professor at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island and Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa. At the University of Oklahoma since 1988, Professor Heap of Birds teaches in Native American Studies. His seminars explore issues of the contemporary artist on local, national and international levels.

He has received grants and awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Lila Wallace Foundation, Bonfil Stanton Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trust and the Andy Warhol Foundation.

In June 2005, Heap of Birds completed the fifty-foot signature, outdoor sculpture titled Wheel. The circular porcelain enamel on steel work was commissioned by The Denver Art Museum and is inspired by the traditional Medicine Wheel of the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

Heap of Birds’ artwork was chosen by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian as their entry towards the competition for the United States Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He represented the Smithsonian with a major collateral public art project and blown glass works in Venice, June 2007 titled: “Most Serene Republics”.

In 2012, Heap of Birds was one of fifty artists honored by United States Artists with an individual fellowship award of $50,000 and named USA Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts category.

This event is sponsored by the School of Art, the American Indian Studies Program, the American Indian Student Council and the Multi-Cultural Center.


American Indian Studies Alumna and College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Graduate Shannon Keller O’Loughlin (Choctaw), appointed to the National NAGPRA Committee

NoveOLoughlin_ShannonKellermber 21st,2013

A graduate of CSULB with a Bachelors in American Indian Studies, Shannon was the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts in 1997. During the graduation ceremony Shannon wore her traditional tribal regalia to accept the award as the CSULB Community Drum sang the CSULB Student and Alumni Songs to honor her achievement. Her continued dedication to American Indian people has again been recognized with her recent appointment to the National NAGPRA Committee.

The Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has appointed Shannon Keller O’Loughlin (Choctaw), to the NAGPRA Review Committee on September 23, 2013. Shannon Keller O’Loughlin is an Attorney Partner, and Chair of the Indian Nations Law and Policy Practice Group, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, Washington, DC. She was nominated by the Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Seneca Nation of Indians, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Ms. O’Loughlin is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation. She is a lawyer who has a national reputation for leadership in Indian Law and NAGPRA and is a former White House Fellow.

Measure What You Value

tape measure

When Chancellor Timothy P. White visited CSULB last year, he suggested that you should not automatically value what you have been asked to measure but that you should “measure what you value.”  Inspired by the Chancellor’s idea, to “measure what you value” we are asking all American Indian Studies Alumni to contact us and share what you have been doing since graduating from CSULB. In return, we will send you one of our new measuring tapes inspired by the Chancellor’s suggestion. And keep checking our website for updates on our AIS alumni profiles.


Ferrah Ferris Awarded NASW Birdwoman Scholarship

farrahCongratulations to Farrah Ferris, Senior BSW student at CSULB who has been selected as one of NASW California Chapter’s first Native American Birdwoman Scholars.   She has the distinction of being the only recipient in the Greater Los Angeles area. Ms. Ferris was kind enough take time to discuss what the scholarship, Social Work and her connection to the Native American community means to her.     Link to article about Ferrah Ferris.


American Indian Law Course Taught by a Superior Court Judge

Deborah SanchezStudents at CSULB now have the opportunity to take the writing intensive capstone course, AIS 485, American Indians and the Law from Judge Deborah Sanchez. Judge Sanchez recently joined the faculty of the American Indian Studies Program to teach American Indian Law.  Judge Sanchez is an active tribal leader as well as a Superior Court Judge with experience in American Indian Law. The American Indian Studies program is pleased to be able to provide the opportunity for CSULB students to study law with a sitting Superior Court Judge.  About Judge Sanchez


Generations of Mentoring

When American Indian Studies was founded in 1968, mentoring students was understood as essential and many of the current American Indian Studies faculty and staff have been part of the formal and informal network of mentoring that takes place at CSULB. This same spirt of mentoring guides the student leaders in the American Indian Student Council and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Student Chapter as they extend this web of support into the future. Below are links to three articles from the 2006 Partners for Success Newsletter that provide some insights about a current student, faculty in American Indian Studies and our American Indian Student Services Coordinator.

Beckie Sanchez

Anna Nazarian-Peters

Craig Stone


Congratulations to Georgiana Sanchez as the 2013 Moompetam Heritage Award Winner

About Georgiana Sanchez

Videos of Georgiana Sanchez


Congratulations to the American Indian Student Council for the 36th AILOTT Conference!

The American Indian Leaders of Today and Tomorrow Higher Education and Career Conference was held this past Saturday attracting American Indian students from as far away as Santa Ynez and Tule River. The morning sessions focused on academic skills, becoming an American Indian Leader of Tomorrow and scholarship opportunities for American Indians. The Keynote Speaker was Judge Deborah Sanchez who shared her journey of overcoming major challenges on her path to becoming an American Indian Leader and Superior Court Judge. After lunch, the Chumash Family Singers shared songs and stories. EONA and TANF were represented by American Indian students from Long Beach and Los Angeles. Thanks to all of you who attended the conference and helped to make the CSULB American Indian Student Council 36th Annual AILOTT Conference a success.


About the AILOTT Poster Above:

This poster was created in 1979 for the 3rd Annual AILOTT Conference and the image of the beaded mortar board and eagle feather quickly became the logo for the American Indian Studies Program at Cal State Long Beach. The mortar board was designed and made by Craig Stone and photographed by Richard Sears. Shortly after the distribution of this poster, calls from Indian Country came in from parents asking if they could bead their children’s mortar boards for their graduation ceremonies.


Thanksgiving Podcast

AIS Faculty Georgiana Sanchez & Larry Smith are featured on KPFK’s American Indian Airwaves Thanksgiving Podcast.

Larry Smith and Georgiana Sanchez engage the myth and meanings of Thanksgiving with poetry, storytelling and conversation.

Thanksgiving Podcast


AISES Traditional Plank Canoe Restoration Project

Student Chapter Tiat Restoration Project featured in Spring 20013 issue of Winds of Change Magazine


Very Sad News

Dr. Troy Johnson

JohnsonBWIt is with great sadness that we inform the community of the passing of CSULB Professor Emeritus, Dr. Troy Johnson. During his tenure at CSULB, Dr. Johnson was the Director of the American Indian Studies Program (1994 -2013), Chair of Anthropology (2006-2007) and a Professor of History. Dr. Johnson was most well known for his research on American Indian Activism of the 1960’s and 1970’s that was presented in several books, articles and in his award winning PBS film, Alcatraz is Not an Island. Dr. Johnson passed in his sleep on March 11th after a long battle with cancer. We express our deep appreciation for his dedicated service to the American Indian Studies Program at CSULB. Dr. Johnson was laid to rest on Wed, the 19th of 2014 at the Riverside National Cemetery.

About Dr. Troy Johnson



November 9th, 2013

November 2 – 3, 2012 CISA Symposium and Storytelling Festival at Cal State Long Beach


Link to Symposium & Storytelling Festival Information

Soroptomist House California State University at Long Beach

Symposium – Friday, November 2nd – 9 am to 5 pm – schedule TBA

Storytelling Festival – Saturday, November 3rd – 1 pm to 5 pm

The CISA Storytelling Symposium and Festival 2012: Casting A Net of Story and Song—The Art and Practice of Native Fishing Cultures is a cultural exchange of Indigenous Storytellers from California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and New Zealand—through the auspices of the international network- League of Indigenous Voices in Story and Song (LIVS).





Where: Soroptomist House* (Parking in lot close by or in lot across the street for a nominal fee) California State University, Long Beach 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA

When: Saturday, December 15, 2012 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Cost: Free, plus materials, refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Participants will learn about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Permanent Forum held annually. Small groups will learn how to do a practice intervention. Please RSVP to Deborah Sanchez 562-377-6322 or Georgiana Sanchez 562-490-0862 orMarcus Lopez 805-969-1076 by December 13th. All are welcome.
Funding provided by:
The Office of Native American Concerns Archdiocese of Los Angeles Co-Sponsored by AISC and the CSULB AIS Program