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Daisy Ocampo

Graduate Student

Contact Information
Department of History

Daisy Ocampo (Caz’ Ahmo Nation of Zacatecas, Mexico) is currently a PhD Candidate and GAANN Fellow in the History Department with a concentration in Native History at the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation is a comparative examination of the construction of memory at two indigenous sacred sites, one in the United States and the other in Mexico. Her research juxtaposes two sets of relationships: the Chemehuevi people and their ties with the Old Woman Mountains in the East Mojave Desert and the Caxcan people and their relationship with Tlachialoyantepec, or El Cerro de las Ventanas, in Zacatecas, Mexico. Her doctoral research centers on the relationship between ancestral memory and preservation of sacred landscapes in relation to and as part of indigenous communities and their responsibilities to this Earth. She emphasizes how the colonial project in Mexico and the United States involved the targeting of sacred sites as a means of land acquisition and enslavement of indigenous bodies during the colonial era at silver and gold mines. The manifestation of these policies continues in the exploitation of sacred indigenous sites through tourist industries and state preservation efforts. In addition to archival research and oral histories, her work uniquely centers on dancing and songs as a preservation model which activates landscapes as a source of renewal and community well-being while asserting power and historical agency. Her work will feature in the Anthology of Critical Scholarship on Indigenous Dance. Daisy is involved with the Native American Land Conservancy, Frente Indigena Organizacion Binacional, and is a founder of California Indian Nations College (CINC).