The John C. Rouillard Papers document Rouillard’s tenure with the American Indian Studies department, as well as his participation in and involvement
with numerous Native American organizations, councils, and committees. The collection includes correspondence, lectures,
notes, memorandums, reports, studies, conference material, and proposals. The majority of the material focuses on Rouillard’s
membership in various organizations regarding Native American education. The collection is divided into three series: General Files, Study Files, and Organizational Files.
John C. Rouillard was born on December 31, 1928 in Rapid City, South Dakota. He was a Santee Dakota Sioux, and attended the
Government Indian School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He later attended Washington and Lee High School. After graduating,
Rouillard joined the US Army of Occupation in Japan as an infantryman and bandsmen. In 1948, he left the service to begin
college. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1952 with a bachelor’s in music education. Rouillard then taught music
at the high school level. Six years later he received a master’s in music, also from Northwestern. In 1969, Rouillard moved
to San Diego and began working as a music instructor at Helix High School. In 1971, he was asked to help with Native American
education at San Diego State. He initially worked for the Equal Opportunity Program for Native Americans. In this position,
he helped to increase the attendance and retention of Native American students at San Diego State by helping students obtain
financial aid and tutoring assistance. A year later, Rouillard began his twelve-year tenure as the first Chair of the American
Indian Studies department. He also started lecturing at Grossmont College. As chair, Rouillard developed courses in Native
American music, education, language, and history. He also applied for, received, and managed numerous grants, including a
National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the All-Yuman Applied Workshop in Language and Culture; as well as a California
Council for the Humanities grant in Public Policy, Treaty Rights, and Sovereignty Forum.
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This collection is open for research.