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Message from the Interim Chair

            Welcome to American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Located on California Indian land, we are one of the leading Native American Studies programs in the world and a diverse, thriving community of students, scholars, and staff. The Interdepartmental Program in American Indian Studies provides a multi-disciplinary approach to studying Native American issues, both rural and urban, past and present.

Our forty-two students—the largest number ever enrolled in American Indian Studies at UCLA—come from around the United States and around the world. Many of them are citizens of Indigenous nations and here at UCLA they study a wide variety of topics in our graduate and undergraduate academic programs.

Twenty-three undergraduate students are currently majoring or minoring in American Indian Studies here. They pursue one of two research tracks: Indigenous Peoples and the Americas or Global Indigenous Issues. To learn more about our undergraduate program, please visit:

Nineteen graduate students are enrolled in the American Indian Studies M.A. program or the joint M.A./J.D. program offered in partnership with the UCLA Law School. American Indian Studies M.A. students focus on four areas of concentration: (1) History and Law, (2) Economic Development and Native Nation Building, (3) Social Relations, and (4) Language, Literature, and Expressive Arts. To learn more about our M.A. program, please visit: To learn more about our M.A. students, please visit:

Student life is enriched at UCLA by a number of student organizations. These include the American Indian Student Association (AISA), the American Indian Graduate Student Association, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. These organizations provide both academic and social support while organizing events such as the Annual UCLA Pow Wow.

After graduation, our degree holders go on to varied careers ranging from academia to business, healthcare, law, nonprofit work, social services, policy analysis, tribal governance, and other areas. To learn more about our alumni, please visit:

Our twenty-eight faculty members, many of whom are Indigenous, teach a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses that offer many different approaches to studying Native American issues. Our faculty members teach in Anthropology, Archaeology, Asian American Studies, Art History, Chicano and Chicana Studies, Dentistry, Economics, Education, Ethnomusicology, Gender Studies, History, Information Studies, Law, Linguistics, Nursing, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy, Sociology, Theatre, and World Arts and Cultures. To learn more about our faculty, please visit: To learn more about our courses, please visit:

Our program is supported both by our Academic Coordinator, Clementine Bordeaux (Sicangu Oglala Lakota), and multiple on-campus organizations. Clementine serves as an administrator, advisor, and counselor. American Indian Recruitment (AIR) helps to bring students to UCLA while Retention for American Indians Now! (RAIN) helps to ensure their success here. Founded in 1969, UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center hosts events, our American Indian Library, provides funding, and serves as a nexus for our scholarly community (for more information please visit: The interdisciplinary Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange supports valuable courses, internships, and learning opportunities (for more information please visit: Finally, other UCLA organizations provide additional support.

We invite you to learn more about us and our academic programs. For information on admissions, please visit:




Benjamin Madley

Associate Professor, History Department

Interim Chair, American Indian Studies Program

University of California, Los Angeles