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Olivia Chilcote

Dr. Olivia Chilcote

Critical Mission Studies Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D. UC Berkeley, 2017

Research Areas

Geographic Field(s): Native North America, Native California

Thematic Field(s): Native American Studies, Native American History

Principal Research Interest(s): Native California, Federal Indian Law and Policy, Native American Identity

Contact Information
Department of History

Olivia Chilcote (Luiseño, San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians) received her Ph.D. and M.A. in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and her B.A. in the Ethnic & Women’s Studies Department at Cal Poly Pomona. She is currently an Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at San Diego State University. Her research and teaching focus on the areas of interdisciplinary Native American Studies, federal Indian law and policy, Native American identity, and Native California. Dr. Chilcote’s first book project investigates the politics and history of federal recognition in California and uses a case study of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. Her manuscript provides the first in-depth analysis of the San Luis Rey Band’s history in Southern California, the tribe’s federal recognition petitioning process, and the complexity of the band’s unrecognized tribal status. Dr. Chilcote's research reveals 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.

Professional Affiliations

  • California Indian Studies and Scholars Association
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
  • American Studies Association