People / Graduate Students
Federal Indian Law and Policy, Federal Recognition, Native American Identity, Native California
Bio & Research Interests
Olivia Chilcote (Luiseño, San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow, and an affiliated scholar of the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues. Her dissertation, Beyond Recognition: Native Californian Identity and the Federal Acknowledgment Process, analyzes the connection between the Federal Acknowledgment Process--a standardized system used by the Office of Federal Acknowledgment within the Department of the Interior to recognize tribes as sovereign nations--and community identity as it materializes in California. Her study investigates the politics and history of federal recognition in California and uses a case study of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians to analyze the intricacies of identities structured by legal definitions, the ways in which unrecognized tribes assert tribal sovereignty despite legal classifications, and how tribal engagement with the Federal Acknowledgment Process is part of a longer history of U.S.-tribal relationships. Olivia has received support and funding for her research from: the Ford Foundation, the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the UC Humanities Institute, UC Berkeley Native American Studies Program, Pukúu Cultural Community Services, and the UC Berkeley Graduate Division. Olivia earned her BA, summa cum laude, from the Ethnic and Women's Studies Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and her MA in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.
Thomas Biolsi, Beth Piatote, Kent Lightfoot (Anthropology)
Courses Taught or Assisted
2014 Instructor, "Contemporary Native American Identity," Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, Spring.
2013 Graduate Student Instructor, "Ethnic American Writers," Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, Fall.
“An Unrecognizable State: Federal Acknowledgment Policy and the Case of Native California” in New Voices in California Indian Studies, ed. by Beth Rose Middleton Manning and Cutcha Risling Baldy, 1-33. (Accepted; Under Revision)
Jacknis, Ira, Caroyln Smith, and Olivia Chilcote, "California" in Handbook of North American Indians, Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1-56. (In Press)
2015 “Pow Wows at the Mission: Identity and Federal Recognition for the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Mission Indians.” Boletín: Journal of the California Mission Studies Association, Vol. 31, No. 1: 79-87.
2013 Book Review of Recognition, Sovereignty Struggles, and Indigenous Rights in the U.S.: A Sourcebook, ed. by Amy E. Den Ouden and Jean M. O'Brien, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Vol. 38, No. 4: 184-187.
Web-Based and Other Publications
2015 “It’s Complicated: One Native Californian’s Thoughts on Junipero Serra’s Canonization.” The Berkeley Blog. http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2015/09/22/its-complicated-one-native-californians-thoughts-on-the-canonization-of-junipero-serra/
2014 “Education as Self-Determination.” News From Native California, 27(2), Spring 2014: 22-24.
2013 “Born on Thanksgiving: Searching for a Native Identity in California.” News From Native California, 27(1), Fall 2013: 6-9.