Alum Richard Oakes Helped Create One of First Native American Studies Departments in U.S.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

DAILY HAWKER -- Upon reaching San Francisco, he enrolled at the San Francisco State University. To support himself financially during his education, Richard Oakes worked in the Mission District of San Francisco as a bartender. Working in such a socially active environment helped him interact with people from the local Native American communities.

Future activist Richard Oakes wasn’t really thrilled with the classes offered at the San Francisco State University. So, with the help of an anthropology professor, he ended up creating one of the first Native American studies departments in the country. He was seminally involved with the development of the initial curriculum and encouraged many Native Americans to enroll at the San Francisco State University and study about their own history and culture.