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Leilani Sabzalian

Leilani Sabzalian's picture

Contact Info

Office Location: 
130D Lokey Education
Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies in Education

Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiiq) is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies in Education 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 (
Leilani is currently working on a book for Routledge Education Series, Indigenous Children's Survivance in Public Schools, that provides educators and administrators with case studies to understand how colonialism continues to shape educational policy and practice.


Sabzalian, L. (In Press). Indigenous children's survivance in public Schools. Routledge Education Series: Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education. Series Editors Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang.

Shear, S., Sabzalian, L., & Buchanan, L. (2018). Teaching Indigenous sovereignty in elementary civics education. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 31(1), 12-18.

Sabzalian, L. (2018). Curricular standpoints and Native feminist theories: Why Native feminist theories should matter to curriculum studies. Curriculum Inquiry, 4, (3) 1-23.

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.

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 Social Studies: A Controversial Issues Reader (153-176). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Press.

Sabzalian, L., Malliett, D., & Helms, H. (Accepted. Expected 2018). Pursuing Indigenous education on Indigenous terms: Portraits of Indigenous education in practice. In M. Jacob (Ed.). On Indian ground. Information Age Press.

Sabzalian, L. (2016). Native feminisms in motion. English Journal, 106(1), 23 – 30.

Editorials and Public Scholarship

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.

Sabzalian, L., & Garcia, S. (2017, May 18). Tribal history is our shared history (Guest Opinion).OregonLive: The Oregonian.


Dr. Sabzalian’s research areas of interest include: Indigenous education, decolonization, Native feminisms, Tribal Critical Race Theory, curriculum studies, and elementary social studies education.