The mission of the American Indian Studies Department is to educate, inspire, and prepare students for engaged careers and/or graduate school and to be an educational hub and site for community participation and learning focused on the Indigenous peoples of the northern Americas.


Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair

John-Carlos Perea, Associate Professor and Chair Elect (2022-25)


News and Announcements

In Memoriam: Phil Klasky


Alumnus and College of Ethnic Studies faculty member Philip Klasky passed away April 12. He taught in American Indian Studies and Race and Resistance Studies from 2003 to 2020. He served for more than 11 years as the director of the Ethnic Studies Student Resource and Empowerment Center and was also the faculty advisor for Students for Quality Education and the Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations and was one of the New Leader Scholarship’s longest-serving mentors. He designed the popular course “Race, Activism and Climate Justice.”

In 2010, Klasky worked closely with students and tribal organizations to create a multimedia exhibit about the historic American Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island entitled “We are Still Here.” The exhibit is permanently displayed on Alcatraz. He also served on the Native American student center mural committee.

Klasky received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and his master’s degree in Geography and Human Environmental Studies from SF State. As a graduate student, he was directly involved in the establishment of the Department of Environmental Studies.

Klasky was a longtime activist in the California Faculty Association, acting as the chapter’s media coordinator. Prior to SF State, he was the founding director of the Storyscape Project of the Cultural Conservancy (TCC), which repatriated more than 600 legacy recordings of endangered languages to U.S. tribes. Klasky was an executive producer of TCC’s award-winning film “The Salt Song Trail: Bringing Creation Back Together.” Storyscape grew out of the successful campaign to stop the proposed nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley, land sacred to Colorado River Indian tribes. Klasky worked with tribal leader Lewellyn Barrackman to preserve audio recordings of the Mojave Creation Songs, which featured references to Ward Valley as land central to the tribe’s culture, and he led litigation resulting in the designation of 6.5 million acres of critical habitat for the endangered desert tortoise, which included Ward Valley.

Condolences can be sent to his wife Catherine Powell at cpowell@sfsu.edu or P.O. Box 593, Woodacre, CA 94973. A celebration of life event will take place later this summer.


Welcome Dr. Baligh Ben Taleb

We are excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Baligh Ben Taleb as Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies beginning Spring 2023.

Dr. Baligh Ben Taleb earned his Ph.D. (with distinction) and his M.A. in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and his B.A. (Honors) in English and American Studies from the University of Tunis. His research explores the histories of Indigenous societies, settler colonialism, race beyond the black/white paradigm, global colonial history, and transitional justice, with an emphasis on narratives and institutions, and the ways in which their legacies continue to shape the contemporary world. Combining archival research with oral histories, interviews and participant-observation, his first book project examines the history of the Indian Claims Commission, as an early effort of historical redress, and its implications for traditional land and treaty rights of the Shoshone peoples in Nevada, and by extension American Indians’ longstanding efforts to regain land that they have lost over centuries. His work has been generously supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Program, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Center for Great Plains Studies, and the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, among others. Before joining SF State, he was an ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow in Race, Wisconsin-Madison.

Department Chair

Dr. John-Carlos Perea will serve as the AIS Department Chair for 2022-2025. He has been at SFSU since 2010.

John-Carlos Perea is a Grammy award winning electric bassist, singer, cedar flutist, composer, and ethnomusicologist. His research interests include jazz and improvised music performance and composition, urban American Indian lived experiences and cultural productions, music technologies, recording and archiving practices, social constructions of "noise," Native and African American jazz cultures, and the Creek and Kaw saxophonist Jim Pepper. Perea returns to AIS after being invited to serve as Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley (2021-2022). He is currently Visiting Researcher, Composer, and Performer at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at UC Berkeley.

Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Indigenous Studies at the University of Chicago

Dr. Joanne Barker has accepted an offer for the 2022-23 academic year to be a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Indigenous Studies in Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity Studies at the University of Chicago. She will be conducting research for her next book project which will develop further the issues she examined in Red Scare: The States Indigenous Terrorist (UC Press, 2021).

The AIS Rites of Passage

Tuesday, May 24, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Ethnic Studies Building 116

San Francisco State University


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Melissa K. Nelson

(Anishinaabe [Turtle Mountain Chippewa])

Professor, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures,

Arizona State University



Twice As Good

Prof. Paul Steward and Rich Steward

(Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians)


Catering by Taqueria Girasol.


Congratulations to the Graduates


Karen Nickole Castro

B.A., American Indian Studies

Spring 2022


Alyssa Rae Clark

B.A., American Indian Studies

Spring 2022


Alicia Alexis Delatorre

B.A., American Indian Studies

Spring 2022


Cheyenne Garcia

(Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe/Lakota, Tongva)

B.A. American Indian Studies

AIS Department Hood Honoree

Summer 2021


Nureldin Lozoya Maslu

B.A., American Indian Studies

Fall 2021


Carolina Osoria

(Mestize: Wixarika)

B.A., American Indian Studies and Comparative and World Literature

Minor, Queer Ethnic Studies (2022)

Cum Laude Honors

Spring 2022



American Indian Studies • College of Ethnic Studies • San Francisco State University • 1600 Holloway Avenue • San Francisco CA, 94132 • For information: (415) 405-3928 or jmbarker@sfsu.edu


RSVP to aismain@sfsu.edu


Empowering American Indian Studies

Fundraising Campaign 2022


The total raised through the campaign for the AIS Scholarship Fund, Concert Sponsorship, and Betty Parent Achievement Award is $9,930!


Thank you to all of our donors.


Rob Collins donated $200 to the Betty Parent Achievement Award

Jake and Barbara Perea donated $1,000 to the Betty Parent Award and $500 to the AIS Scholarship Award

Allam and Fidaa El Qadah donated $2,500 to the AIS Department Fund


To donate: Click here.



The Cookbook 

American Indian Studies Journal 

Call for Submissions


American Indian Studies invites all members of its community to submit a recipe, creative work, or short essay on food for a cookbook.

Submissions might include: 

  • recipe

  • artwork

  • video to a music or dance performance

  • short story

  • short essay

  • community report on food sovereignty work

The cookbook will serve as the next issue of the American Indian Studies Journal. It will be provided free to the public through this page on the department website.

Please send your submissions to jmbarker@sfsu.edu.


As soon as we have enough, we will launch the cookbook.

New Publications


Joanne Barker, Red Scare: The State's Indigenous Terrorist (American Studies Now Series, UC Press, 2021).

Joanne Barker, Jodi Byrd, Alyosha Goldstein, and Sandy Grande, "Catastrophe, Care, and All that Remains,” Social Text (2021).


Robert Keith Collins, "African and Native American Contact in the Americas." Wednesday, November 17, 2021 (City of Menlo Park, 2021).

Robert Keith Collins, “How Did Black Folks Become Indians? What Lived Experiences Say About Belonging, Culture, and Racial Mixture in Native America.” In The Complexities of Race: Identity, Power, and Justice in an Evolving America. Charmaine Wijeyesinghe, ed. (NYU Press, 2021).


Roger J. Kuhn, “Sexual Sovereignty and Erotic Survivance: Two-Spirit Sexual Health and Vitality: An Intersectional Approach to Sex Therapy.” In Centering the Lives of Indigenous, Racialized, and People of Color. Reece M. Malone, Marla Renee Stewart, Mariotta Gary-Smith, and James C. Wadley, eds. (Routledge, 2022).

Roger Kuhn, “Two-Spirit Love at the BAAITS Powwow,” in Critical Sexual Literacy: Forecasting Trends in Sexual Politics, Diversity, and Pedagogy. Gilbert Herdt, Marzullo Michelle, Petite Nicole Polen, eds. (Anthem Press, 2021).


John-Carlos Perea, “Music in Native America: The Intertribal Powwow” (in Global Music Cultures, eds. Bonnie C. Wade and Patricia Sheehan Campbell. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).


Paul Steward and his father, as the band Twice as Good, have released a CD with original music, Double Down (2021). You can listen here. Video clip here.



Awards and Honors


CONGRATULATIONS: Sarah Dilley as been included on the Native American 40 Under 40 by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.


CONGRATULATIONS: Roger Kuhn has been appointed to the LGBTQ+ advisory committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.


CONGRATULATIONS: John-Carlos Perea's book chapter, "Native 'Noise' and the Politcs of Powwow Musicking in a University Soundscape," is part of an edited collection, Music and Modernity among First Peoples of North America, that has won the 2020 Ellen Koskoff Prize for Edited Collections from the Society for Ethnomusicology.


Student Profiles


Cathi Manuel (Pit River/Modoc ~ Coastal Pomo/Miwok)

Class of 2020

B.A., American Indian Studies; B.A, Creative Writing (2020)

M.A. Ethnic Studies (2022)

I plan to pursue a doctorate in Ethnic Studies ~ emphasis on Native American Matriarchal Leadership in Social Justice and Community Activism. My work consists of research and oral history collectives, cultural art and Indigenous literature. Story Website.



Kristi Lozinto (Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians)

B.S. Nutrition & Dietetics (SFSU 2020)

AIS Minor (SFSU 2020)

Currently working at Sonoma County Indian Health Project (SCIHP) part-time and a quarter of the way through a 1000 hour internship through Morrison Healthcare as part of the credentialing requirements to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Kristi is single mom of 3 children ages 6, 8, and 11 who are all involved in multiple sports. They are of Dry Creek Pomo decent and are enrolled tribal members of Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians. She and two of her children are traditional Pomo dancers. Kristi has worked at SCIHP for over 11 years and in that time found her passion for nutrition and helping her community so she decided to pursue a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics to become a RDN. She was accepted into Morrison Healthcare Dietetic Internship program where she is working towards completing her internship where she will then be qualified to take the national exam to become a RDN. Kristi wants to continue serving her Native community in disease prevention and wellness through nutrition.


Carolina Osoria (Mestize: Wixarika)

B.A., American Indian Studies and Comparative and World Literature with a Minor in Queer Ethnic Studies (2022)

I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies. Much of my field work is centered around sex, gender, and sexuality as I research lost cuir and trans representations within colonial literature. Additionally through an intersection of cultural studies, literary analysis, and politics of translation, I bring together the fields of gender, sexuality, and Indigenous studies to the foreground in order to untangle the power dynamics of colonial, European, and binary epistemologies that have, and continue to be violently imposed onto Indigenous knowledge systems. I have written for, "The Ana" a quarterly arts magazine, presented poetry for Stanford GEN and Forest Hill, have presented their research at UC Davis' AIS Graduate Symposium, SFSU undergraduate symposium, and am a current fellow for the Marcus Undergraduate Research Fellowship.



Cheyenne Garcia (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe/Lakota, Tongva)

B.A. American Indian Studies (2021)

Currently I am taking a year off from academics to study for the LSATs while working part time at Trader Joe’s. Since graduating in Summer of 2021, I have moved back to my hometown of San Diego. In October I got engaged to my partner of 4.5 years! I am taking this time off to focus on studying for the LSAT. My plan is to apply to CSULB, SDSU, & UCLA or USD in their dual degree program of a Masters in Social Work and Juris Doctorate degree (MSW/JD). Once I am settled in. I am looking forward to volunteering within my local Indigenous Community & building my resume for my application for Grad school. Ultimately, I would love to get a certification in American Indian Law and/or manage a non-profit organization that specializes in providing support & resources for Indigenous communities.