Vanessa Esquivido (Nor Rel Muk Wintu Nation, Hupa, Chicana)
Hestum (greetings)! Vanessa is an enrolled member of the Nor Rel Muk Wintu Nation. She is a Ph.D. student in Native American Studies here at UCD. She earned her BA at CSUS in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Native American Studies. Her focus is on California Indian tribes seeking federal recognition, Native women, California basketry, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and Native language revitalization.
Rebeca Figueroa is a Doctoral Candidate in the Native American Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Davis. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Native American Studies from UC Davis. Although born and raised in Inglewood, CA, she considers Aguascalientes, Mexico as her home. Throughout her undergraduate years, Rebeca participated in the McNair Program and collaborated on a research project with the Nahuat-Pipil community of Western El Salvador. Her current research focuses on North-Central Mexico, particularly in the state of Aguascalientes. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, Mexican colonial history, Indigenous identities (and how they emerge from the land), and intersections between Chicano/a Studies and Native American Studies.
Jendi! Ji arhinhasïnga Sandra Gutierrez ka ji P’urhéskani ka xanka ia! Ji japundarhu anapuesïka ma Sacramento irekaska. Hello everyone! My name is Sandra Gutierrez and I am P’urhépecha! I am from Lake Pátzcuaro in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, but I have been living in Sacramento for quite a few years now. I initiated my academic career at American River College in Sacramento. I graduated from the University of California in Davis with a Bachelors Degree in Native American Studies and Political Science. Currently, I am in my second year in the P.h. D. program in Native American Studies at UC Davis. My main research involves the development of the P’urhépecha political movement concerning the demands for autonomy and agrarian reform in the state of Michoacán, primarily in the Lake Pátzcuaro area. Other interests also revolve around indigenous identities and state reform, indigenous languages and transnational migration. Being a P’urhépecha migrant myself, I am interested in researching and understanding how we recreate and reaffirm our identities as P’urhépecha away from our homeland. In the future, I hope to make a contribution to the understanding of my own community and rewrite our history as we have experienced it. In my spare time, I enjoy working on my language and most definitely, spend time with the most important people in my life, my family!
Angel M. Hinzo (Winnebago / Ho-Chunk)
Angel M. Hinzo (Winnebago/Ho-Chunk) was born in Sioux City, IA and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Native American Studies with a designated emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. She received her B.A. in history from the University of California San Diego and specializes in history and federal Indian policy from mid-19th century to the present. Her dissertation is a historical narrative of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin that focuses on the post-WWII era. Her research incorporates feminist and Indigenous methodologies through the use of archival research, analysis of secondary sources, and oral interviews. Research interests include decolonization, acculturation and accommodation, boarding school experiences, connections between cosmological beliefs and society, tribal governance, and Ho-Chunk/Winnebago intertribal, federal and state relations.
Jessa Rae Growing Thunder (Assiniboine/Sioux)
Jessa Rae Growing Thunder, 25 years old, comes from the Fort Peck Assiniboine/ Sioux tribes of Poplar, Montana. She received her BA in Native American and Indigenous Studies from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Jessa Rae is a third generational artist who has spent her life learning the values and importance of her cultural traditions from her grandmother, Joyce Growing Thunder, and her mother Juanita Growing Thunder. Jessa Rae has obtained numerous awards with her traditional artwork as well as the honor of other opportunities such as an internship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and a training program in conservation at the University of Delaware. She also served as the 2012-2013 Miss Indian World. Jessa Rae is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, where she was been awarded the “National Engaged Leader Award”. In 2012 Jessa Rae and her childhood friend, Lauren Chief Elk, founded the Save Wiyabi Project (“wiyabi” is the Assiniboine term for “women”). In the summer of 2014 Jessa Rae served as a liaison for the State Department and traveled to Ecuador with three other representatives; their work revolved around ancestral technology. Jessa Rae is currently working on her Masters in Native American Studies at UC Davis where her research focuses on oral history and historical consciousness.
Kaitlin Reed (Yurok/Hupa)
B.A. at Vassar College, Geography
Research Interests: Indigenous land and water rights, with a focus on Yurok people; (Post)colonial and decolonization theory; Native perception of space, place, and time; Ecological and cultural sustainability as a means of exercising an indigenous sovereignty
Deserea Langley (Paiute and Shoshone)
Deserea R. Langley is an enrolled member of the Susanville Indian Rancheria. She is enrolled in the Master's program at UC Davis. Her education experience includes an Associates of Arts in Social Science from Lassen Community College and a Bachelors of Arts in Social Science with a Minor in Native American Studies from California State University, Sacramento. As a Paiute and Shoshone woman, she has worked in bringing Native American youth to the California State University, Sacramento Campus through students visits, and the California Indian Conference. She coordinated and created a youth component to the conference inviting Native students from the Sacramento surrounding area to participate in conference activities and student development.
Her research interest include contemporary Native American Education, student leadership, and tribal community development. Her thesis research will focus on how Tribal Colleges are supporting the unique needs of their Native American students and community.
Amber Bill (Northern Paiute/Te-Moak Western Shoshone) is a member of thePyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. She received her A.A. in Liberal Studies from D-QUniversity and B.A. in Ethnic Studies, emphasis in Native American Studies from California State University, Sacramento. Amber is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include 19th, 20th, and 21st Century North American Indian History, Nevada Indian History, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal History, Pyramid Lake Paiute Water Rights, the Academic Discipline of Native American Studies, Indian Activism, P.L. 280, and California Indian Basketweavers. more
Ke shii ‘e Lori Laiwa, ‘aa Shoqawah ke. Lori is an enrolled member of the Hopland Pomo Band of Pomo Indians and raised on the Manchester/Point Arena Rancheria located on the central California Coast. Her indigenous ancestry includes Kashaya Pomo, Balokai Pomo of Potter Valley, Yokayo Pomo, Coast Miwok, Aleut and Peruvian heritiage. Lori received her AS degrees in Business/Accounting at Mendocino College and a BA in Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis. Lori is currently a PhD student in Native American Studies at University of California Davis. Her research interests include California Indian History, Pomo Tribal Histories, Native Community Activism, Contemporary Affairs, Native Language Documentation and Preservation, Native Language Curriculum Development, Digital Storytelling, and Oral Histories. more
Bayu Kristianto is an international student from Indonesia. He is officially an instructor at the English Department, University of Indonesia. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Indonesia in 2001. With scholarship from Fulbright, he went to SUNY Buffalo and graduated with an M.A. degree in 2006, majoring in American Studies with a focus on Native American religion and philosophy. Thinking that Native American Studies had to become his main academic field of interest, he applied to the Native American Studies Department at UC Davis in 2010 and has been a Ph.D. student at the department ever since. Having completed his qualifying exams successfully in May 2013, he is now an ABD student, working on a dissertation on the notions of the body as decolonizing strategies in the novels of Leslie Marmon Silko and Louise Erdrich. His research interests cover a broad range of areas, which include Native American religion and philosophy, Native American literature and history, Cultural Studies (on space and power), Western philosophy, the history of Christianity, and British and American literature. He is always eager to attend conferences and travel at the same time, being constantly on the lookout for grants and fellowships that would allow him to do that. His two-year-old son, Bobby Putranda Baladewa, is a great human being and proves to be a skilled entertainer for the family amidst the pressures of school.
James Sarmento (Shasta)
James Sarmento is a member of the Shasta Nation and a graduate student in Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. He received his BA in Anthropology and in Ethnic Studies from CSU Sacramento. He is the executive director of the Native American Language Center and the project coordinator for the J.P. Harrington Database Project. His research focuses on language revitalization, specifically the Shasta language.
Christine M. Willie (Navajo)
á’át’ééh shik’éí. Shí éí Christine Willie yinishyé. Dóone’é nishlínígíí éí Bilagáana nishlí, Kinyaa’áanii báshíshchíín, Bilgáana dashicheii, Tséníjíkiní dashinálí. Tsehilidi shighaan. Ahé´hee. Hello! My name is Christine Willie and I am Italian and Navajo. As a faculty member of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, I teach Anthropology, History, and Indigenous Research Methodologies and Methods. I hold a B.A. in Spanish and Foreign Language Education (Rowan University) and a M.A. in Latin American Literature (University of Maryland, College Park). Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in Native American Studies (UCDavis). I am also a recipient of the 2013-2014 Mellon Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship. My fieldwork and research investigates the nuances and variations of traditional butchering of sheep in various locales of the Navajo Nation. These similarities and dissimilarities also correspond with the various approaches to inherent Diné decolonizing practices, which I analyze throughout my dissertation, tentatively titled “Sheep Is Life and Diné Decolonization”.
Spencer Mann entered the Native American Studies Ph.D. program in Fall 2014. He received his B.A. in American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2013. Spencer’s current research interests include federal Indian policy, political ecology, tribal governance, and Native American literature. His proposed dissertation project examines the interface between the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the existing Indian Health Service structure – with an emphasis on the ways in which Native nations can strategically implement components of this legislation to meet their own goals.
Cuauhtemoc Quintero Lule (Pascua Yaqui)
Lios em chaniavu, relatives of all backgrounds. My name is Cuauhtemoc Quintero Lule and I am a doctoral candidate in the Native American Studies Ph.D. Program at the University of California, Davis. I received my B.A. in Native American Studies – with Minors in History and Chicano/a Studies – from UC Davis in 2012. I am an enrolled member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, born in Palm Springs, California, on the ancestral lands of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. On my maternal side of the family, my origins reside in northwestern Mexico, primarily in the Río Yaqui communities of Sonora and in the municipality of Escuinapa, Sinaloa. On my paternal side of the family, my ancestry stems from the north-central Mexican state of Guanajuato, predominantly from the Valles Abajeños. My reverence for my forebears, my love for my family, and the cosmologies passed on to me by my grandparents, all inspire my deep fascination with a plethora of Yaqui and Mexican histories. My research interests include: The 1825-1833 Yaqui Revolution of Juan Banderas (my dissertation focus); the Tlaxcallān confederacy and interactions between Nahuas, Totorames, and Cáhita-speaking peoples in early colonial Sinaloa; New Spain’s casta system, Creole identities, and Mexico’s War of Independence in Guanajuato; the diverse Pre-Hispanic (Chupícuaro, Teotihuacano, Tōltēcah-Chīchīmēcah, Purépecha, Otomí, etc.) histories of the Valles Abajeños and Bajío Guanajuatense; Classical Nāhuatl language learning/teaching strategies; among various other topics.
SimHayKin S. Jack
Degree Objective: Ph.D.
Research Interests: I am keen to do a study of the academic aptitude of students involved in Indigenous language immersion programs. How to accomplish language revitalization via modern technology, and how Indigenous language speakers are beginning to employ code switching in poetry and creative works.
BA, Race and Culture studies, Eastern Washington University, 2014.
AA, English, Spokane Falls Community College, 2012.
● 04/2014 National Conference for Undergraduate Research,
University of Kentucky
● 02/2014 Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference,
Washington State University
● 11/2013 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Scholars, Northwest Regional
Evergreen State College