Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiiq) is an assistant professor of indigenous studies in education. Her book Indigenous Children’s Survivance in Public Schools offers stories of Indigenous students, families, and educators artfully navigating the colonial terrain of public education.
"Indigenous Children’s Survivance in Public Schools examines the cultural, social, and political terrain of Indigenous education by providing accounts of Indigenous students and educators creatively navigating the colonial dynamics within public schools. Through a series of survivance stories, the book surveys a range of educational issues, including implementation of Native-themed curriculum, teachers’ attempts to support Native students in their classrooms, and efforts to claim physical and cultural space in a school district, among others. As a collective, these stories highlight the ways that colonization continues to shape Native students’ experiences in schools. By documenting the nuanced intelligence, courage, artfulness, and survivance of Native students, families, and educators, the book counters deficit framings of Indigenous students. The goal is also to develop educators’ anticolonial literacy so that teachers can counter colonialism and better support Indigenous students in public schools." -description from publisher's website
"Much has been written about Native students, their communities, and their experiences in schools. This book offers us an intimate view on how Native students and their communities experience education, through their eyes. This text disrupts deficit notions of who Native students are and offers teachers concrete tools to understand the unique contours of what this looks like in the context of settler colonial schooling. Moreover it can be used to fill gaps in teacher knowledge around Indigenous studies that is useful for a variety of existing pedagogical practices including place-based education, anti-racist education, multicultural education, and culturally sustaining approaches. More important, it centers Indigenous knowledges and methodologies to paint a picture of not only the enduring legacy of colonial education but also how Indigenous communities resist and flourish, despite it."– Dolores Calderon, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Youth Society and Justice, Western Washington University