2019 NASPA Annual Conference

Indigenous Peoples of Los Angeles

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Do you know where you are? The Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community (IPKC) ask that settler-descended persons consider how this simple, yet complex, question confronts how the locations in which you live, learn, and work, continue to violently interrupt the cultural, linguistic, historical, and political connections that Indigenous peoples have to areas we deem as ancestral homelands.

Further, it is important to recognize that many higher education institutions—specifically, Non-Native Colleges and Universities—have, wittingly or unwittingly, remained as actors in the colonization of what we regard as our original context of teaching and learning.

Nonetheless, the place-based sensibilities of Indigenous peoples endures to the present, as it is embodied in our conference’s land acknowledgment speaker, Tongva Elder, Julia Bogany.

Julia is a member of the Tongva Tribal Council and also works as a Cultural Consultant and Educator. Additionally, Julia serves as the Elder-in-Residence for Pitzer and Pomona College and teaches Native Culture and History for Claremont Colleges.

As part of the opening session, Julia has been invited to disrupt a hegemonic discourse of place and express a relational understanding of land. Prior to being settled, this location (Los Angeles, California) was a territory occupied by Indigenous peoples known as the Tongva.

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