Native Nations Law & Policy Center

TLCEE Projects

TLCEE provides students with opportunities to work directly with Tribal communities through partnerships with UCLA programs, inter-tribal organizations, and specific Native nations. TLCEE also offers a limited number of scholarships for local tribal community members to earn credit through UCLA Extension for working on projects in their own communities. If you are interested in having a UCLA student or a tribal community member located in the LA area work on a project with your community or organization, please review and complete the Tribal Community Partner form and send it to

Below are examples of the projects our TLCEE students have worked on with our TLCEE Tribal Community Partners: 

Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Project: Research and compile comparative tribal constitutional law relating to tribal citizenship/membership requirements;  Design and carry out mini-trainings on the issues arising from the research. Site Visit: Honolulu, HI

Native Hawaiian Names Preservation Project: In conjunction with high schools in Hawaii, UCLA and Hawaiian high school students examined historical documents containing the names of Native Hawaiian ancestors, transpose them to a digital format, and make them available for youth to trace their names and histories. Site Visit: Honolulu, HI

UCLA Powwow Project: Coordinate the annual pow-wow while building a resource kit for future AISA pow-wow planners. Site Visit: Los Angeles, CA

Native Seeds/SEARCH Project: Coordinate with researchers at Native Seeds/SEARCH to implement a needs assessment relating to the distribution of indigenous seeds in the southwest region of the United States.

Native Higher Education Access Project: Create a web page with questions and answers for Native youth to help guide them through the process of applying to higher education institutions. 

Documentary Film on Boarding Schools Project: Researching and grant-seeking to continue an existing film on the boarding school experiences of a man from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Site Visit: Pine Ridge, SD

Owens Valley Cultural Resource Training Project: Coordinate and implement a training for Owens Valley tribal members about cultural resource protection practices in the field. Site Visit: Owens Valley, CA

Taino Sacred Site Protection Strategies  Project: Research and draft possible strategies for the Taino community of Puerto Rico to protect their sacred sites through inter-governmental agreements with municipal governments. Site Visit: San Juan and Ciales, PR

San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians Sovereignty Education Projects: Developing Power Point presentations for use by the San Manuel Human Resources Department to educate tribal employees about the profound importance and immediate relevance of tribal sovereignty to their employment opportunity with the tribe; Developing a template for Tribal Emergency Management Policy. Site Visit: Highland, CA

Indigenous Peoples Council on Bio-colonialism Project: Co-designing an on-line course to address the ways in which tribes can protect their cultural property, whether it be songs, artifacts, sacred sites, remains of the ancestors, traditional medicines, Indigenous knowledge about such medicines, or human and non-human genetic material. Site Visit: Nevada

California Tribal Nations Emergency Management Council Project: Create draft emergency management guidelines to increase tribes' abilities to remain compliant with federal Homeland Security emergency management mandates without compromising tribal sovereignty. Site Visit: Highland, CA

Rumsen Ohlone Language Project: Assist with constructing the framework necessary to make a five-year plan for the Rumsen Ohlone language project; research on other language projects and use of indigenous-based interview style to facilitate community cooperation.

Fernandeno/Tataviam Project: Research the process for creating a Fernandeno/Tataviam language curriculum; create a Plan of Action for drafting the curriculum. Site Visit: San Fernando, CA

Mayan Children of Chiapas - Sueninos Project: Raise funding and school supplies for a school in Chiapas dedicated to quality holistic education for Mayan children living in Chiapas, Mexico through the non-profit organization, Sueninos (a play on words in Spanish meaning dreams and children). Site Visit: Chiapas, Mexico

Walpole Island First Nation Youth Summer Theater Classes Project: Create and implement a 4-week curriculum to provide youth with the opportunity to participate in a series of TV and film acting workshops; youth learn about the use of film equipment as well as acting skills. Site Visit: Walpole Island, Ontario, Canada

American Indian Recruitment (AIR) Project: Design and implement workshops for Native youth in the Los Angeles area; workshops are offered with the cooperation of the site directors for the existing tutoring programs provided by AIR, a component of the UCLA American Indian Student Association. Site Visit: Commerce, CA

Tribally Controlled Primary School Symposium Project: Research the available information on existing tribally-controlled education programs; create a Plan of Action to implement an information-sharing meeting on tribally-controlled education in Southern California. Site Visit: various tribal education departments

Inter-Tribal Court of Southern California Project: Assist in the administrative tasks associated with everyday Court business; research projects related to Court administration. Site Visit: Escondido, CA

Rio Yaqui Book and School Supply Drive Project: In collaboration with Cal Poly Pomona and Red Nations Student Alliance, TLCEE students accumulate donations of books and supplies for the elementary school children attending classes on the Mexican side of the Yaqui nation; assist in the painting and maintenance of the school building and provide a report on the issues facing the Yaqui nation. Site Visit: Sonora, Mexico.

Nakwatsvewat Institute Project: To assist the Institute in bringing together Native community members and alternative dispute resolution professionals in a tribal space to mediate and resolve property and family conflicts that arise among Hopi village members using customary dispute resolution practices. Site Visit: Hopi Nation, AZ

The Pechanga & Fowler Internship Program Project: in conjunction with the  Fowler Museum at UCLA, tribal professionals and traditional knowledge-bearers, TLCEE created a brief program to encourage students to learn about the relationships between Native cultural resource management and the museum world. Students were able to make connections between the federal and state legislation relating to cultural resource management and how those laws impact the communities on a daily basis.