Luiseño, San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians
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, The Process and The People: Federal Recognition in California, Native American Identity, and the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians, analyzes the connection between the Federal Acknowledgment Process–a standardized system used to recognize tribes as sovereign nations–and community identity for one unrecognized tribe in Southern 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.