William Bauer

Professor, History
Expertise: American Indian History


William (Willy) Bauer is a professor of history and program director for the American Indian and Indigenous Studies minor. Bauer (Wailacki and Concow of the Round Valley Indian Tribes) grew up on the Round Valley Reservation in northern California. He received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Bauer offers classes on California Indian, American Indian, and American West history. He is also UNLV's faculty liaison to the Newberry Library's Consortium on American Indian Studies.

Bauer is the author of "We Were All Like Migrant Workers Here": Work, Community and Memory on California's Round Valley Reservation, 1850-1941 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009). He has also published an introduction to a revised edition of John W. Caughey's McGillivray of the Creeks (University of South Carolina Press), and essays on California Indian history in the Western Historical Quarterly, Native Pathways; American Indian Culture and Economic Change in the Twentieth Century (University of Colorado Press), and A Companion to California History (Wiley-Blackwell).

Bauer's current research focuses on the ways in which California Indians used oral traditions to offer an alternative telling of 19th and early 20th century California history. He is also working on a family biography, based on the life of his great-grandfather.


  • M.A. and Ph.D., History, University of Oklahoma
  • B.A., History and American Studies, University of Notre Dame

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William Bauer In The News

Las Vegas Sun
September 4, 2020
The Clark County School Board is considering renaming Kit Carson Elementary School International Academy because of Carson’s role in the death of hundreds of Native Americans during the colonization of the West.
Las Vegas Review Journal
April 4, 2017
The stories of the Calac cousins and other Nevadans who fought in World War I echo very faintly today.
The Mendocino Voice
March 3, 2017
About 160 people came to the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah on Saturday afternoon to hear a lecture by a Native American historian who tells the history of California using only indigenous sources. Dr. William Bauer, who is Wailacki and Concow, grew up in Round Valley and teaches history at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. His most recent book, “California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History” is based on oral histories told by Native elders, including Bauer’s own great-grandfather, as part of a State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) project, during the Great Depression. University of California Berkeley anthropologist Alfred Kroeber was hired in 1935 to organize the SERA project upon which Bauer’s book is based. Bauer used the interviewers’ handwritten notebooks, rather than the anthropologist’s typewritten versions, because the final drafts were heavily edited.
Willits News
February 24, 2017
On Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host a talk by historian Dr. William J. Bauer Jr., a member of the Wailacki and Concow tribes of the Round Valley Indian Reservation, based on his recently released book, “California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History.” A book signing and reception will follow. The event is free with museum admission.

Articles Featuring William Bauer

Sarah Winnemucca and Rutherford B. Hayes
Campus News | September 29, 2016
Historian William Bauer chronicles the expeditions of American Indian leaders to Washington D.C. in a free public talk Oct. 5.
American flag with a shadow of a person
Campus News | August 16, 2016
Nine free public lectures are planned on campus to evoke conversation and facilitate understanding about the election process and related issues.
Portrait of William Bauer
Research | November 1, 2011
William J. Bauer Jr., UNLV history professor and enrolled tribal member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, tells the history of the people of the Round Valley Indian Reservation in their own words, painting a picture of cultural and socioeconomic perseverance.