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California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC)

California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC)

CICSC logo


The CICSC fosters collaborative research and community service relationships between the faculty, staff, and students of CSU San Marcos and members of Tribal communities, for the purpose of developing and conducting research projects that support the maintenance of sovereignty and culture within those communities. 

Core Values


To support political and economic development, education, health and wellness, media and film, language preservation, and natural resource management. 


To reinforce collaborative research fostering indigenous research methods


To champion sovereignty and cultural preservation


To create and sustain communication between tribes and scholars 

About Us

Welcome to the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, a harmonious enclave that serves as your home away from home. We extend a warm invitation for you to join us any day of the week, where you’ll discover an abundance of resources meticulously crafted to guide you along your academic journey.

Our center emanates a tranquil and conducive atmosphere, designed for students seeking a serene space to study and engage in critical research. Here, we foster an environment that not only facilitates personal social mobility but also encourages collaboration with faculty, staff, and Tribal nations and communities, collectively contributing to the support of Tribal sovereignty and culture.

As you step into our cozy lobby, you’ll find a welcoming space for students to gather, converse, and immerse themselves in collaborative learning. Additionally, our workstation, equipped with computers, stands ready to aid you in your academic pursuits.

But beyond the physical amenities and academic resources, our center thrives as a vibrant community. Every day, fellow students are here, offering a helping hand, forging mentorships, nurturing long-lasting friendships, and engaging in enriching student life activities. Here, every interaction is a step towards building a stronger, more connected community.

We invite you to immerse yourself in the enriching experiences, join in the camaraderie, and actively participate in the community, all while advancing research and supporting Tribal sovereignty and culture. At the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, you’re not just a student; you’re a valued member of a community that feels like a second home.

Join us, and let’s create a better future together!

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Meet our Student Research Assistants


Hometown           Pala Reservation          

Tribal Affiliation Kuupangaxwichem/ Cupeno and Northern Ute      

Year on Campus Fourth Year          

Best Memory at CSUSM         Powwow Workshops


Kiara Flores | American Indian Studies

  • Bio
    Miyaxwe/ Hello, My name is Kiara Love Flores and I come to you from the Pala Indian Reservation in Southern California. I am Kuupangaxwichem/ Cupeno and Northern Ute. In my twenty years of life, I have been dancing since I’ve learned to walk. These styles include the Jingle Dress, Fancy Shawl, and Bird Dancing all taught to me by my Mother. Dancing has always had the biggest impact on my life and has led me to the path I am on now. I am soon to receive my Bachelors in Native Studies with a concentration in Arts & Humanities. Working closely with Native communities has always been a part of me, especially with bringing light to Native issues like Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Native Education, and Native Erasure within education. Ichaam/ Thank You.
  • Favorite Spot on Campus
    SBSB 1118
  • Dream Job
    Working with Native communities.
  • Favorite Summer Activity
    The Powwow Trail

Student Worker Littledeer

Hometown                 Stilwell, Oklahoma

Tribal Affiliation          Cherokee 

Year on Campus         Third Year Transfer

Best Memory at CSUSM           Joining AISA and meeting all the students involved, and Storytime with Stan.

Justin Littledeer | Political Science, Minor- American Indian Studies


Hometown                  Pala Reservation

Tribal Affiliation           Pala Band of Mission Indians (Kuupangaxwichem)

Year on Campus         Sophomore

Best Memory at CSUSM                   Bowling with AISA

Lanise Luna | Biology

  • Bio

    My name is Lanise Luna, I am from the Pala Band of Mission Indians (Kuupangaxwichem). I am AISA’s social media person. I love all things ocean related and am always beading on my free time and recently turned it into my own business. 

  • Favorite Spot on Campus
    The CICSC
  • Dream Job
    Marine Biologist
  • Favorite Summer Activity
    Beading and Painting


Hometown           Hemet, CA

Year on Campus        Sophomore

Best Memory at CSUSM          Learning how to bead for the first time


Emely Morales | Literature & Writing Studies

  • Bio
    I am a first gen Mexican woman who prices herself in her creative spirit, open minded attitude, and love for learning.
  • Favorite Spot on Campus

    The trail by the gym because of the wild flowers and frogs in the spring.

  • Dream Job
    To be a writer and an English Professor
  • Favorite Summer Activity
    Hanging out with my friends and doing crafts.


Hometown             San Ysabel, CA

Tribal Affiliation Iipay Kumeyaay

Year on Campus       Junior

Best Memory at CSUSM                 Bowling with AISA

Aiden Valverde | American Indian Studies


Hometown Temecula, CA

Tribal Affiliation     Navajo

Year on Campus    First year

Best Memory at CSUSM              Visiting the nearby cat cafe

Alden Redhouse | Criminology and Justice

  • Bio
    Born in Albuquerque New Mexico in 2004, I am Alden or Shaandiin. I am apart of the Navajo Tribe on my father's side and became involved with the CICSC to learn more about my culture and to help out other Tribal Communities! I am currently a first-year student at CSUSM, and I intend to graduate in Spring 2027 with a major in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Despite my focus on university, I also have heavy priority on my flight school! I currently attend Flight School at French Valley Airport and plan to get my Private Pilot's License. I plan to become a Commercial Pilot with my degree at university and with my experience in flying. Outside of university and my flight school, I often spend time going out with friends, doing archery as a hobby, and writing. 
  • Favorite Spot on Campus
    Library or the CICSC
  • Dream Job
    Commercial Pilot
  • Favorite Summer Activity
    Visiting friends across the states


Hometown             La Jolla Reservation

Tribal Affiliation       Luiseno, Kumeyaay, Diné, and Oglala Lakota

Year on Campus    Fifth Year

Best Memory at CSUSM                Going to Knotts Scary Farm

Ethan Wolfe | Kinesiology 


Hometown  Murrieta, CA

Tribal Affiliation   Navajo

Year on Campus.   Fith, Senior Year

Best Memory at CSUSM            Starting up the Electrical Engineering Club and making friends with the members

Ian Anderson | Electrical Engineering

Angel Jimenez

Hometown               Campo, CA

Tribal Affiliation   Kumeyaay

Year on Campus    Sophomore

Best Memory at CSUSM           Bowling with AISA

Angel Jimenez | Art, Media, and Design


Hometown           Downey, CA

Year on Campus     Fifth Year

Best Memory at CSUSM .         Meeting my roommates and becoming friends with them!

Katrina Tomas | Liberal Studies


Hometown     Banning, CA

Tribal Affiliation       Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Year on Campus     Sophomore

Best Memory at CSUSM           Joining AISA

Canaan Tubby | Business


Hometown       Campo, CA

Tribal Affiliation       Kumeyaay

Year on Campus     Junior

Best Memory at CSUSM                   Bird dancing at the research symposium

Alexandra Valle | Kinesiology

  • Bio
    She is studying kinesiology in hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy, or to become a sports physician. She currently works as a research assistant for the American Indian Studies Department at CSU San Marcos. Alexandra is majorly involved within her community both in and outside of her academic life. She still partakes in traditional skills such as bird dancing, beading, and the hand game Peon.
  • Favorite Spot on Campus
    The CICSC
  • Dream Job
    Physical Therapist
  • Favorite Summer Activity
    Going to Gatherings