Heather Ponchetti Daly

Heather Ponchetti Daly is a tribal member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel and an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Environmental and Indigenous Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Daly teaches courses in environmental law, federal Indian policy, Indigenous approaches to climate change and Native American Studies and history. 

Daly’s doctoral dissertation “”American Indian Freedom Controversy:” Political and Social Activism by Southern California Mission Indians, 1934-1958” covers the twentieth-century political activism by Southern California Mission Indians who opposed termination. This study concentrates on the tribal bands of individuals who participated in the active political resistance movements that emerged during the implementation of the Indian Reorganization Act and came to fruition during the termination crisis. Daly demonstrates that the Mission Indians were not passive participants but active protagonists who fought for their self-determination and their right to live with their culture and heritage intact. Attempting to place Southern California Mission Indians within the larger context of American Indian history and American history in general.

Daly’s studies focus on California Native American History, and Native Environmental Studies. Dr. Daly is involved in the UCI History Project, which provides an institutional framework to history teachers (K-12) to include Native American voices in the California.  She worked with Climate Champions, a project to get more teaching, learning and action on climate change in local schools.  Currently, she has just been appointed to the UC NAGPRA Implementation and Oversight Committee for the California Native American Heritage Commission representing UCLA.                      

Contact Information:

• hmdaly@ucsd.edu

Select Recent Work:

“Climate Champions Virtual Summit: Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change”, University of California San Diego, 29 June, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTZV_IhZ_M8

Daly, Heather Ponchetti. “Fractured Relations at Home: The 1953 Termination Act’s Effect on Tribal Relations Throughout Southern California Indian Country.” American Indian Quarterly 33, no. 4 (2009): 427–39.