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Our Team


By 1993, the UCLA NAGPRA Committee was created to ensure the repatriation of human remains at UCLA to the proper tribes. The committee included representatives from multiple academic disciplines, faculty, staff, and students as well as members of off-campus Native American communities. The committee was charged with providing the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor recommendations on policy and procedures, decisions regarding cultural affiliation or dispositions, and overall implementation of NAGPRA. 

In September 2018, California passed legislation that outlines the composition of the UC and UC campus committees. UCLA will reconstitute the NAGPRA Committee to meet the new requirements once committee members are approved by the Native American Heritage Commission.

Current Members (effective July 1, 2021)


Repatriation Project Staff



Michael Chavez, MA

Archaeological Collections Manager, NAGPRA Project Manager

Michael Chavez (Tongva) is the Archaeological Collections Manager and NAGPRA Project Manager at the Fowler Museum at UCLA and facilities the daily implementation of UCLA’s campuswide NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA operations. He fosters community participation with tribes by promoting consultation and access to UCLA’s tribal holdings. Michael has a BA in public and oral history and MA in history with specializations in museum sciences and California Native American studies from California State University, San Bernardino. His collections and curation work includes the exhibit, “Through Their Eyes: Selections from the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center,” in which he collaborated with the Southern California Native American institution to present tribal art from tribal viewpoints. He presently is contributing to a book targeted to fourth-graders on tribal perspectives on the California Missions.

Miztlayolxochitl Aguilera

Native American Repatriation Assistant

Miztlayolxochitl Aguilera (Tongva & Mexica) is the repatriation assistant working to facilitate CalNAGPRA consultations. She is a graduate of California State University, Puvungna (Long Beach) with a degree in Chicano and Latino Studies, as well as a certificate in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Miztlayolxochitl is a paddler with the Ti’at Society: Traditional Council of Pimu and an advocate for the revitalization of Tongva maritime culture and language. Her passion for the repatriation of ancestors developed from her participation in the 2016 repatriation and reburial of Tongva ancestors. 

Isabell Villasana

Native American Repatriation Assistant

Isabell Villasana received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a minor in Global Health from UC San Diego; following the completion of her Master of Arts in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, she joined the Fowler Museum at UCLA as a Repatriations Assistant. Drawing on her training in California community collaborative archaeology and archaeobotanical analysis, she works with domestic and international communities and governments to facilitate the return of ancestors and belongings. Her key duties include return coordination, provenance research, and repatriation policy implementation.

UCLA NAGPRA Committee Minutes

UCLA NAGPRA Committee Minutes