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The Joseph A. Myers Center is housed at UC Berkeley's Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI). The Center's mission is to provide the people of Indian country with pragmatic research products that can be employed to improve the quality of life for Native Americans throughout the US. Read more here.

Myers Center Graduate Fellow Awarded Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

Peter Nelson, PhD candidate in Anthropology, was awarded a Dissertation Fellowship from the Ford Foundation. Peter is a Coast Miwok person and an enrolled citizen of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. His dissertation research investigates the history of environmental change and Indigenous landscape management in his tribe's territory in order to inform and support sustainable practices and policies for the restoration and management of parks and open spaces.

Summer Student Workshop in Qualitative Methods - July 7-August 11, 2016

This Center for Ethnographic Research workshop provides mentorship, hands-on research experience, and training in designing and executing a project using qualitative methods for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Students will receive six weeks of intensive methodological training in the design and practice of qualitative research. Meetings will be held on Mondays and Thursdays from 1-4 pm, July 7-August 11, 2016. Scholarships are available for students studying Native American Issues. Learn more and apply here.

Nahuatl Culture and Language Course on Noticias Univisión 14

In September, UC Berkeley student group Danza In Xochitl In Cuicatl and the community based groups Panquetzaliztli and Nahui-Ehecatl, in collaboration with the Myers Center, invited students and community members to participate in the Program for the Study and Practice of Indigenous Cultures and Languages. This 6-week program consists of intensive Nahuatl language classes and cultural exchanges taught by instructors Catalina Cruz de la Cruz and Ofelia Cruz Morales and organized by Juan Francisco Esteva Martínez, Director of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at UC Berkeley. We are happy to share that the Program was recently featured on Noticias Univisión 14. Please find the video here.

Myers Center Graduate Fellow Olivia Chilcote reflects on the Canonization of Junipero Serra

"In the 1980s, much like now, there was an outcry from Native Californians over the prospect of canonization. How could Junípero Serra, the man who established the Spanish Mission system in California, be a saint? Is he not representative of the death, disease, and cultural devastation of Spanish colonization?

"Scholars, historians, activists, community leaders — both Native and non-Native — actively resisted Serra’s canonization through a variety of means. The 1987 bookThe Missions of California: A Legacy of Genocide, edited by Rupert and Jeanette Costo, was written in an effort to bring attention to the Native perspective and to foreground the brutal realities of the missions that had been glossed over for so many years. The strategic timing of the book highlighted that Native Californians and other anti-canonization believers could rally together and work towards halting Pope John Paul II’s process to canonize Serra.

"But here we are today."  Read more here.


Researchers at the Myers Center recently completed a pilot project that examined fatality and injury rates involving pedestrians and motorists on main thoroughfares in or near Indian country in Humboldt County, California.  Every year thousands of motorists die and millions more are injured on the nation’s roadways.  But while the number of fatal crashes nationally has declined by 2% over the past 25 years, the number of vehicle-related fatalities in or near Indian country has increased over 50%.  In order to understand the reasons for this increase and to begin developing safety countermeasures, we need better data documenting the problem.  This pilot study combined analysis of CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) database and other sources of crash data with GIS mapping to document the areas in or near Indian country in Humboldt County with the highest rates of vehicle related injuries and fatalities over the past five years.  The Myers Center plans to expand this pilot study into a statewide analysis of fatality and injury rates in or near Indian country in California.  The results of the analysis will be used to help Native nations document the dangers associated with roadways that, while they run through Indian country, are the responsibility of the state to ensure safe passage. To read a report summarizing the pilot study's findings, click here.

Support the Center

Please give your support to the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues. Your support ensures ongoing research and educational activities on issues that affect Indian country, in addition to training the next generation of scholars engaged in research on Native American issues. See our giving pages to find out how you can contribute to these ongoing efforts.

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Contact the Center

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.643.7237
FAX: 510.642.8674

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