I explore a broad set of topics related to the theory and praxis of social change. Although I primarily focus on how these issues play out in Indigenous communities, I am committed to exploring the ways in which lessons learned in Native communities may apply in a variety of social contexts.

My theoretical foundations include…

  • Tohono O’odham and Indigenous Ontology and Epistemology;
  • Critical Theory;
  • “Mutual Aid” and Philosophical Anarchism, including Kropotkin, Bakunin, Gandhi and Spanish Anarcho-syndacalism;
  • Liberation Theology; and
  • Paolo Freire and other emancipatory educators

My research methodologies include…

  • Indigenous research approaches; and
  • Participatory Action Research;
  • Qualitative research methods.

Interests

  • Food Sovereignty & Food Systems
  • Native American Studies & Indigenous Food Sovereignty
  • Qualitative Methods & Action Research
  • Critical Social Theory
  • Community & Economic Development
  • Empowerment & Leadership

Current Projects

  • Native Food Sovereignty Storytelling, Capacity-Building, and Best Practices Project

    A Project of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.

    Currently, I am working with the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance to tell the story of the effort to build Indigenous food sovereignty across the U.S. Focusing on ten core themes, we will be developing a set of documentary films and action guides for use by…

    • Native American communities and peoples working on food, agriculture, health, cultural revitalization and/or sustainable economic development.
    • Tribal governments and policy makers.
    • Funders such as private foundations, and governmental agencies.

    For more information: NAFSA Storytelliing Project

  • Tohono O'odham Food Sovereignty: Continuity, Adaption and Resilience in Native American Communities

    PhD Dissertation to be defended in May 2017

    I am completing my dissertation on Tohono O’odham Food Sovereignty: Continuity, Adaption and Resilience in Native American Communities. It is based upon my award-winning work to create food sovereignty on the Tohono O’odham Nation in Southern Arizona over the last 20 years. Utilizing participatory action research (PAR) and Indigenous research methodologies, my dissertation examines the theory, practice, impacts and implications of Native food sovereignty efforts.

     

    At a larger level, my work reconnects the academic discourse on food sovereignty to praxis, rather than the purely theoretical discourse of recent academic debates. Because engaged scholarship methodologies such as PAR share the values and goals of the food sovereignty project – including localization, democratization, emancipatory praxis, and destruction of the subject/object relationship in social discourse – they must stand at the center of the intellectual effort to understand food sovereignty. My work with the Tohono O’odham community provides a textured model of how PAR can be utilized to understand food sovereignty praxis globally.