Jeffrey Tadór Reeder, dean of California State University, Northridge’s College of Humanities, has been appointed the campus’ first Senior Tribal Liaison Officer.
In that role, Reeder will serve as CSUN’s ambassador to all Native nations and Indigenous people with whom the university has engaged. He also will help establish and guide campus strategy and practices to ensure an inclusive climate that supports a thriving community of Native American/Indian American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students, staff and faculty.
“It’s truly an honor to be named the campus’ first Senior Tribal Liaison Officer,” Reeder said. “There is a lot of work ahead , but among my first step will be to establish an advisory council of internal and external folks, with a particular emphasis on external members, to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and that we can accurately assess what we’re doing right and what we need to improve. Historically, the university’s work with tribal communities has been sporadic and scattered across the campus. We will finally have a central point of organization, and at a high, administrative level that demonstrates that CSUN is committed to making sure this effort is successful and long term.”
Reeder, who was appointed to his new role last month, will be working directly with CSUN President Erika D. Beck, Provost Meera Komarraju and Beck’s cabinet, which includes the university’s other vice presidents, in his role as Senior Tribal Liaison Officer (STLO).
“As the inaugural STLO,” Beck said in her letter inviting Reeder to take the position, “I seek your leadership in guiding our path forward, including engaging in appropriate outreach, consultation and inclusive practices that promote strong relationships and mutually reinforcing activities with Native American communities; establishing transparent and consistent communications; and developing an outreach and implementation plan that centers on making visible and honoring the history and celebrating the continued existence and flourishment of Native nations in California, and particularly the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, whose ancestral homelands are occupied in part by CSUN.”
Reeder, whose college includes the American Indian Studies Program, said one of his first tasks will be to initiate a comprehensive listening tour to find out what services students, staff and faculty need. Additionally, he hopes to learn more about services or programs that already exist, but no one knows about.
“Hopefully, we’ll eventually be able to establish a formal office with a staff that can support our projects and initiatives on and off campus,” he said.
He said he will be looking at ways to streamline how the campus and local tribal communities, including the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, work together and explore possible future collaborations after establishing the advisory council.
“The council will ensure authentic recognition of, and respect for, our Native American communities,” Reeder said.