Dr. Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiiq) is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies in Education and the Co-Director of the Sapsik'wałá Teacher Education Program at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on creating spaces to support Indigenous students and Indigenous self-determination in public schools, and preparing teachers to challenge colonialism in curriculum, policy, and practice. She is also dedicated to improving Indigenous education at in the state of Oregon by serving on the American Indian/Alaska Native State Advisory Council and strongly advocating for legislation such as Senate Bill 13, which requires and supports educators in teaching about tribal history and sovereignty in K-12 public schools (https://www.yesonsb13.com/).
Dr. Sabzalian newly published book, Indigenous Children's Survivance in Public Schools, provides educators and administrators with case studies to understand how colonialism continues to shape educational policy and practice, and fosters educators’ anticolonial literacy so that teachers can counter colonialism and better support Indigenous students in public schools.
2015, Doctor of Philosophy, Critical and Sociocultural Studies, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
2003, Master of Education, Educational Leadership, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
2002, Bachelor of Arts, Educational Studies, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Honors and Awards
2018 Honorable Mention, National Council of Teachers of English English Journal Edwin M. Hopkins Award
2017 Curriculum Inquiry Writing Institute Fellow, Ontario, CA
2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award, Narrative SIG, American Educational Research Association
2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award, Division B, American Educational Research Association
2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award Recognition, Qualitative Research Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association
2015 Wayne Morse Dissertation Fellowship, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics (declined due to other accepted award)
2015 Graduate Research Forum Poster Award, University of Oregon
2014 National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship
Sabzalian, L., Morrill, A., & Edmo, S. (In Press). Deep organizing and Indigenous studies legislation in Oregon. Journal of American Indian Education.
Jacob, M.M., Beavert, V., Anderson, R., Sabzalian, L., & Jansen, J. (In Press). The importance of Ichishkíin in advancing Indigenous feminist education. Feminist Studies.
Jacob, M.M., Sabzalian, L., RunningHawk Johnson, S., Jansen, J., & Morse, G.S. (2019). We need to make action NOW, to help keep the language alive: Navigating tensions of engaging Indigenous educational values in university education. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ajcp.12374
Sabzalian, L. (2019). The tension between Indigenous sovereignty and multicultural citizenship education: Toward an anticolonial approach to civic education. Theory and Research in Social Education. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00933104.2019.1639572
Sabzalian, L., Miyamoto-Sundahl, R., & Fong, R. (2019). The time is now: Taking initiative for Indigenous studies in elementary curriculum. Oregon Journal of the Social Studies, 7(1), 6-19. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nu7Cba5ruZKiXMsbij8ZU2QEo1GQYp_h/view
Sabzalian, L. (2019). Indigenous children's survivance in public Schools. Routledge Education Series: Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education. Series Editors Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang. https://www.crcpress.com/Indigenous-Childrens-Survivance-in-Public-Schools/Sabzalian/p/book/9781138384507
Turtle Island Social Studies Collective. (2019). Beyond Pocahontas: Learning from Indigenous women changemakers. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 31(3), 7-13. https://www.socialstudies.org/pulblications/ssyl/january-february2019/beyond-pocahontas-learning-from-indigenous-women-changemakers
Sabzalian, L., & Shear, S. (2019, January). Indigenous studies Facebook Takeover (January 14-18, 2019). #sschat. Retrieved from https://sschat.org/2019/01/19/indigenous-studies-facebook-takeover-posts-january-14-18-2018/
Shear, S., Sabzalian, L., & Buchanan, L. (2018). Teaching Indigenous sovereignty in elementary civics education. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 31(1), 12-18. https://www.socialstudies.org/publications/ssyl/september-october2018/affirming-indigenous-sovereignty
Sabzalian, L. (2018). Curricular standpoints and Native feminist theories: Why Native feminist theories should matter to curriculum studies. Curriculum Inquiry, 4(3) 1-23. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03626784.2018.1474710
Jacob, M.J., Sabzalian, L., Jansen, J., Tobin, T.J., Vincent, C.G., & LaChance, K.M. (2018). The gift of education: How Indigenous Knowledges can transform the future of public education. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 20(1), 157- 185. http://www.ijme-journal.org/index.php/ijme/article/view/1534
Sabzalian, L., & Shear, S. (2018). Confronting colonial blindness in civics education: Recognizing colonization, self-determination, and sovereignty as core knowledge for elementary social studies teacher education. In S. Shear, C.M. Tschida, E. Bellows, L.B. Buchanan, & E.E. Saylor (Eds.). (Re)Imagining elementary socialsStudies: A controversial issues reader (153-176). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Press.
Shear, S., Sabzalian, L., & Buchanan, L. (2018, November). Episode 95: Affirming Indigenous sovereignty with Sarah Shear, Leilani Sabzalian, & Lisa Buchanan. Visions of Educaton [podcast]. Retrieved from https://visionsofed.com/2018/11/19/episode-95-affirming-indigenous-sovereignty-with-sarah-shear-leilani-sabzalian-lisa-brown-buchanan/
Shear, S., Sabzalian, L., Pochedley, L., Slick-Driscoll, L., Red Corn, A., Stanton, C., Talbert, R., Heafner, T., & Wager, S. (2018, March). Toward responsibility: Social studies education that respects and affirms Indigenous peoples and nations. A position statement of the National Council for Social Studies. https://www.socialstudies.org/positions/indigenous-peoples-and-nations#footnoteref21_s6hzmkf
Sabzalian, L., & Garcia, S. (2017, May 18). Tribal history is our shared history (Guest Opinion).OregonLive: The Oregonian. Retrieved from http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/05/tribal_history_is_our_shared_h.html#comments
Sabzalian, L. (2016). Native feminisms in motion. English Journal, 106(1), 23 – 30. http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/EJ/1061_sep2016/EJ1061Native.pdf
Dr. Sabzalian’s research areas of interest include: Indigenous education, decolonization, Native feminisms, Tribal Critical Race Theory, curriculum studies, and elementary social studies education.