The Native Resource Center is completely virtual for the Spring 2021 semester until further notice.

Do you have questions about upcoming events or want to socialize with others? Visit our NRC Virtual Lounge: M-F 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.



San Diego InterCollegiate Virtual Powwow

 10 am to 1:30 pm


Join the San Diego InterCollegiate Powwow for a day of community and celebration!

Community Dialogue

 2 pm


 Last community dialogue of the semester!

IG Live w/ GA Andrew Mutsalklisana

 11 am 

IG: sdsunativerc

Learn more about GA Andrew!

Native Graduation

 5 pm - 7 pm 

Celebrate the Native Grads of the Class of 2021!

NRC Archived Events and Recordings

Below are event recordings from previously held by the center. Enjoy!



Native Boarding Schools: The Reality

 5 pm to 6:30 pm


Featuring Christine McCleave, from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.

Event Recording Link


1st Native & Indigenous Research Symposium - Day 2



A replay of Dr. Murdocks keynote, new student presentations and a replay of presentations from day 1!

Event Recording Link


1st Native & Indigenous Research Symposium - Day 1



Our keynote speaker, Dr. Esme Murdock, will be sharing space with us April 23, 2021 for the 1st Native & Indigenous Research Symposium. Dr. Esme Murdock is an Assistant Professor in the American Indian Studies department at San Diego State. The whole program includes artist showcases and student presentations after the keynote!

Event Recording Link


Kumeyaay Land Defenders Panel



Kumeyaay Land Defenders: The roundtable will feature SDSU Tribal Liaison and Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies Jacob Alvarado Waipuk (San Pasqual Kumeyaay), Jamie LaBrake (Sycuan Kumeyaay), and SDSU Student Martha Rodriguez (Baja Kumeyaay), and other Land Defenders. Topics of discussion include why #LandBack is a vital heuristic for our understanding of environmental justice, how Indigenous leadership is central to the environmental history and futures in the context of climate change, and what roles allies or accomplices can play in supporting Indigenous sovereignty as constitutive of past, present, and futures of environmental justice. 

Event Recording Link


Skiing at the Center of the Spider's Web: Indigenous Land Stewardship & Outdoor Sport

1 pm


A conversation with Connor Ryan, Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta Professional Athlete for Patagonia, Salmon Freeskiing, & Native Outdoors.

Event Recording Link


Film Screening of "Blood Memory" & Decolonizing Social Work/ICWA Training

9am-3:30pm (Event Flyer linked here)


Blood Memory Documentary Film and discussion of the detrimental impact removal of Indian children through adoption has had on Native families and communities. How tribal communities are coming together for healing. Learn about ICWA and best practices with for working with Tribal families, especially our role and responsibility to ensure Native families are protected.

Native Athletes Panel



Join the NRC as we have a conversation with Native Athletes about their lives and the sports they've played! With special guest speakers Isaiah Thompson, Kenny Redner and Shiloh Lebeau.

Event recording available here.


Dr. Peter Nelson, Final Lecture at San Diego State



The Community Check-Ins are a place where communication about various topics are welcomed and encouraged. The participants can listen and learn from one another, and everyone's voice is respected and appreciated.

Event recording available here.


Native Educators, Counselors, and Psychologists: Indigenizing Education for Native Youth



Hear about the experiences of SDSU's Native American scholar educators on the SHPA Project!

Event recording available here.


Native Graduation 2019-2020



Join us as we celebrate and honor the December 2019 and May 2020 Native American Graduates!

Event recording available here.


NRC FAFSA Workshop



Adolfo Garcia along with Scott Aziz from the SDSU Office of Financial Aid gave a presentation on the FASFA application as well as to how the funds were disbursed. This was followed by Haley Moore from the SDSU Native Resource Center who presented on specific Tribal scholarships offered to Native American and Indigenous students.

Event recording available here.


Transformation of the Ecosystem



Listen to Mike Connolly (Kumeyaay) as he discusses the impacts of the Mission at San Diego and the expansion along the coastal zone has had on the ecosystem. 

Event recording available here.


Getting into Grad School



Learn a little bit about how to find graduate programs you might be interested. Hear about the masters programs in social work, psychology, counseling, educational leadership and ethnic studies.

Event recording available here.


Indigenous in the Performing Arts: Native Script Writing



Listen in on a conversation regarding the experiences of Indigenous folks in the Performing Arts. Dillon Chitto (Mississippi Choctaw, Laguna and Isleta Pueblo) will discuss script writing as a method to have Native stories and traditions in the eyes of the public. This event is lead by the American Indian Studies Department and Dr. David Kamper.

Event recording available here.


Meet SDSU's Native Community: College Preview Day



An open event for anyone interest in San Diego State University! Connect with SDSU students, faculty and staff and learn about the application, financial aid and support programs available.

Event recording available here.


Day of the Dead: Critical Reflections on Indigenous Traditions



Join the NRC and Campus Partners as we kick off a month long celebration of Native and Indigenous People. Hear some exciting news about the NRC and learn about the different events we have going on throughout the month of November!

Event recording available here.


Native American Heritage Month Kick-Off Event



Join the NRC and Campus Partners as we kick off a month long celebration of Native and Indigenous People. Hear some exciting news about the NRC and learn about the different events we have going on throughout the month of November!

Event recording available here.


Conversations on Kumeyaay Against the Border Wall

As part of Indigenous Peoples' Day: Week of Action, the NRC hosted a discussion centering the Kumeyaay protest against the construction of the border wall. The construction is a violation of tribal sovereignty rights and desecrating sacred land. Members of the Kumeyaay Nation will share their experiences and acts of resistance against the wall. Learn how you can support and be an ally in this informational session centering the voices of Indigenous People.

Event recording available here.


No More Stolen Sisters (MMIW)

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women awareness and how to combat violence against Indigenous women. Lead by NRC Program Assistants, Susie Gallo and Haley Moore and special guest presenters Shurene Premo, Whitney Baugher and keynote speaker Jordan Marie Daniel.

Event recording available here


Disrupting "Dia de la Raza": Indigenous Oaxacan Transnational Resistance

A conversation on Indigenous Oaxacans and their experiences navigating Latinidad and Indigeneity. Lead by Dr. Kovats-Sanchez, American Indian Studies and Elybeth Alcantar, Native Resource Center

Event recording available here


Indigenous Peoples' Day: NRC Week of Action Kick-off

Teach-in on the origins of Indigenous Peoples' Day and a virtual art show. Featuring Professor Lynch, American Indian Studies and Indigenous artist

Event recording available here


CA Native American Day

Sept 25th recognizes California Native American Day. Click this link to view a discussion focused on spotlighting the Indigenous causes taking place right now in San Diego County. Find our how Indigenous people are fighting continued oppression and acts of colonization through illegal "border walls," desecration of sacred land, and the mental health, drug overdose and astronomical suspension rates of Native youth. We were joined by guest speakers Bobby Wallace, Chairwoman Angela Elliot-Santos, and Ami Admire.

Kumeyaay New Year

On Sept 23rd, the NRC was joined by Jacob and Chris Alvarado Waipuk to discuss the Kumeyaay creation story and explain why the New Year is important to Kumeyaay people. Click here to view the recorded discussion! 


Native Resource Center Programs

The Native Resource Center runs several major programs throughout the year. Click below to read more:

Elymash YuuchaapIndigenous Scholars and Leaders Program

 ey logo of two gourds



 To engage, support and promote the cultural, social, academic, and leadership development of students committed to the sovereign identity and progress of Indigenous communities.


To retain and graduate students who will serve as agents of change in their community.


Drawing from social justice and Indigenous lens, the Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars and Leaders Program is designed to mentor and provide community-service learning experiences for students pursuing higher education and preparing to serve Indigenous communities.

Our Name 

The campus of San Diego State University sits on Kumeyaay land. Elymash Yuuchaap is a Kumeyaay way of saying "Youth Think" gifted to the program by now passed Kumeyaay elder from Barona, Larry Benegas. This name is used in deference to the first peoples of this region and honors their thriving heritage and culture.

About the Program 

Starting in 2014 with a group of 12 students, we are proud to say we have grown to support over 80 students on campus. Elymash Yuuchaap scholars participate in a year long series of leadership seminars and service activities. The seminars are scheduled weekly as part of a one credit course through the Department of American Indian Studies., typically held on Friday afternoons. The seminar topics and activities are developed with support from SDSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community and tribal leaders. In addition Each Elymash Yuuchaap scholar is paired with an undergraduate peer mentor to build a strong network of peer to peer engagement. EY Scholars also on average maintains higher GPAs through their involvement and engagement with the program. Throughout the year, scholars are also invited to participate in special events with nationally recognized speakers, local community leaders, and university officials.


Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars & Leaders Program is open to undergraduate students from all majors at San Diego State University, who have an interest and commitment to the success and sustainability of American Indian Indigenous communities and culture.

Benefits of the Program

  • Academic support and research opportunities
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Engaged faculty and administrative mentors
  • Connection to conferences, internships and career opportunities
  • Workshops, seminars, field trips and study abroad opportunities
  • Culturally responsive leadership development
  • Traditional tribal gatherings
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Inclusive environment
  • Community Graduation Ceremony


San Diego State University is committed to preparing students to become successful leaders in a highly diverse and globalized workforce. Successful leaders have a strong sense of their own identities and a comprehensive understanding of the diverse cultures they engage. Cultural identity is said to be a strong indicator for Native American persistence and academic performance in college. With a balanced immersion in their own language and culture, students can achieve academically, socially, and economically.

Future leaders in Tribal and Urban Native Communities require a unique set of tools that bridge cultures, knowledge, and resources. The Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars and Leaders Program, provides a dynamic space where Native American, Indigenous leadership, culture, and issues are at the center of the conversation.

Contemporary Native American and Indigenous Topics 

Each session has a firm focus on issues impacting Native American communities. Topics include: Indigenous identity, academic excellence, research, entrepreneurship, STEM, sustainability, environment, tribal law, relationships, health and wellness, college success, community engagement, global understanding, and public administration.

Community-Service Learning and Cultural Immersion Activities 

Students meet on or off campus to participate in community-based workshops, visits to local reservations and local communities. Activities include: small group discussions on topics related to culture, identity and student success, and community service assignments with local tribal youth.

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 people in a group

Friday, March 19, 2021

Our Way to Welcome You

SDSU Howka Weekend is a personalized event for admitted students and their families that provides insight into the diverse SDSU American Indian community and some of our campus supporters.

You will experience student life and get a glimpse of the many opportunities that SDSU has to offer.

Howka Weekend activities include:

  • Introduction to campus life
  • Information about the Native Resource Center
  • Meeting student leaders from the Native American Student Alliance (NASA) 
  • Engaging Faculty and Staff 
  • Student forums 
  • Information about the Elymash Yuuchapp program
  • Parent forum & Financial Aid presentation

All activities take place on the SDSU campus.


RSVP Today!

Space is limited for the overnight option, so register online now. To RSVP, click the Register link available below. 

RSVP for Howka Weekend Here

San Diego State Annual Powwow


May 1st, 2021

Event Info


The Annual San Diego State University Powwow is a cultural and social event that is held annually to bring together the Native American community to SDSU. SDSU has the reputation of having one of the longest running powwows ran by a university in California. This event is open to the public and is a partnership between the office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Elymash Yuuchaap, the SDSU American Indian Studies Department, the Native American Student Alliance and the American Indian Alumni Chapter of SDSU.  

About the Event 

The pow wow includes dance contests, cultural displays, arts and craft booths, food vendors, and various informational booths.  There will be a Master of Ceremonies (MC) and Arena Director who help run the event. The MC works with the Arena Director to keep the pow wow program organized and running smoothly. The SDSU pow wow kicks off with Kumeyaay Bird singers followed by the Gourd Dance and Grandy Entry which signals the official start of the festivities. 

Kumeyaay Bird Songs have been passed down through generations and are used in times of celebration or grief, to sing, dance, and share culture in the company of friends.
Bird Songs are used in the place of a written history and record an oral history and way of life for Kumeyaay people. Through the use of animal metaphors and allegory, the songs are used to instruct and imprint collective teachings about practical things such as food, the environment and geography, as well as history, customs, and social/moral values.

The Gourd Dance is a Kiowa Tribe ceremonial dance that honors warriors or veterans. Many of those that dance this style are veterans and the idea is to honor all warriors alive or fallen for their service. Most notable of the gourd dance is the use of either a gourd rattle or metallic salt shaker rattle and a red and blue wool blanket draped over the shoulders.

Grand Entry is the official start of the pow wow and all dancers enter the arena. During the grand entry, the color guard brings in the Eagle Staff which is a symbol of American Indian Nations, the U.S flag, state and veterans flags are also represented. This is also a time when we introduce our honored Head Staff and other important guests.