aiic 6th annual symposium 2019

University of California Santa Barbara

Join the UC Santa Barbara

American Indian & Indigenous Collective's (AIIC)

6th Annual Symposium

Decolonizing Our Lives

When: Friday through Sunday, March 1-3, 2019

Where: UC Santa Barbara campus, Friday March 1, 2019 in the McCune Conference Center HSSB 6020 Saturday and Sunday, March 2 & 3, 2019 in the Student Resource Building

(Please click on above links for campus maps.)

Keynote Addresses:

Dr. John Gamber,

"Detoxing Masculinities: 21st Century Indigenous Film and Literature"

Associate Professor, English Department, Utah State University Utah State University

Dr. Devon Mihesuah, Choctaw,

"Is it Possible to Achieve Indigenous Food Sovereignty?"

Cora Lee Beers Price Professor, Humanities Program, University of Kansas

Stan Rodriguez, Santa Ysabel Band of the Iipay Nation,

"Language Revitalization and Decolonization:The revival of Indigenous languages and their relationship to decolonization and the empowering of indigenous communities"

Tribal Council Member, Director of Kumeyaay Community College, and Doctoral Candidate at UC San Diego

Dr. Alexis Buten, Aleut/Yup’ik,

"From Polite Requests to Full-On Battles: Is It Possible to Decolonize Our Public Institutions?" Indigeneity Program Director, BIONEERS

(Please see schedule tab for keynote speaker bios.)

Symposium theme


Decolonizing is crucial to educating all the peoples of the Americas to survive the present by bringing respect to the fore. To “Decolonize Our Lives,” Indigenous peoples seek to be heard and understood as we discover ways to heal ourselves and to affirm our communities. With support drawn from the tribal and intratribal, we can address the historically grounded violence (direct and indirect) of the United States and the violation of our homelands and waters of the fragile Earth.

In spring 2018, the Native community at UCSB and surrounding environs created the Decolonizing Our Lives Project (DOLP). Members of local Chumash communities, the UCSB Native community, and other communities of color at UCSB were invited to participate in DOLP. DOLP originally focused on decolonization by focusing on Indigenous foods to plant and eat, and by increasing communal activities that honor spiritual and physical Native traditions. Community activities, such as community dinners in our Four Directions and Three Sisters gardens, and shared sports activities are designed to gather individuals from across divisions into relationship. Our 2019 Symposium addresses and critically examines decolonization as a multi-layered project that is always-already in process. We, as Native and Indigenous peoples, and we as contemporary walkers upon these lands continue to participate (wittingly and unwittingly) in the colonial project. How can we best advance our decolonization as individuals and as communities? This is more than a rhetorical question. It is a call to action.

Want to Volunteer???

Volunteers are imperative to the success of the event! Consider filling out the below form to volunteer for a part of the conference! Thank you in advance!!

join us ONLINE

In order to make the symposium more accessible, we are making most of the sessions available through Zoom. Join the conference virtually at

This accessibility applies to both presenters and attendees.

Please request other technical or accessibility support by emailing

If you have a question concerning the conference call, please write to the following email address with the subject line “Question":

For graduate student presenters, we are investigating shared lodging or lodging with other graduate students at UCSB. Please use the above email to let us know if you’re interested.

Symposium Sponsors & Co-Hosts

HOSTED BY: American Indian & Indigenous Collective Research Focus Group

SPONSORS: UCSB College of Letters and Sciences Deans| Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall |Associate Vice Chancellor Maria Herrera-Sobek |Office of Equal Opportunity & Discrimination Prevention Office | Department of English, ACGCC & Literature and the Environment| UCSB Graduate Division | Department of Religious Studies| UCSB Associated Students Finance Board |UCSB MultiCultural Center | UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center | UCSB Graduate Student Association | Department of Theater and Dance| Department of Linguistics | Department of Political Science | Department of Asian American Studies | Department of Chicano/Chicana Studies |Department of History | Department of Anthropology | Department of Music | Department of Sociology |Film & Media Studies | Environmental Studies Program |

(Co-sponsors updated as of 2/21/19)

DONATIONS: Starbucks Coffee

CO-HOSTED BY: Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and UCSB American Indian student organizations:

UCSB American Indian Student Association, UCSB American Indian Science & Engineering Society, UCSB American Indian Graduate Student Alliance, UCSB American Indian & Indigenous Gardens Alliance, UCSB American Indian & Indigenous Arts Collaborative