Amanda R. Tachine is Diné from Ganado, Arizona. She is Náneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii (Zuni Red Running into Water clan) born for Tl’izilani (Many Goats clan). Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Tábaahí (Water’s Edge) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is Ashiihi (Salt). She currently serves as an assistant professor of higher education in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
Amanda’s research centers on exploring college access and persistence among Indigenous college students using qualitative Indigenous research methodologies. She is drawn to contribute to research and literature that focus on systemic and structural barriers that disenfranchise college access for Indigenous and marginalized populations.
Prior to MLFTC, Amanda taught 7th grade and high school math for Navajo, Tohono O’odham, and Pascua Yaqui nations. Amanda attended graduate school at the Center for Higher Education at the University of Arizona, where she also worked as the Director of Native American Student Affairs and went on to co-found a mentoring program, Native Student, Outreach, Access, and Resiliency (SOAR) in which Native American graduate students and staff mentor Native undergraduate students, who in turn mentor Native high school students. Amanda’s role in creating Native SOAR contributed towards her national recognition by the Obama administration with the Champions of Change award for empowering young women in recipients’ respective communities.
Amanda teaches contemporary issues in Indigenous higher education, covering topics such as college access, persistence, and sense of belonging, teaching from a decolonial process by emphasizing Indigeneity and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.
Guiding Research Questions:
Amanda studies Navajo students’ journeys into college, where systemic structures are often oppressive and invisible (normalized) making it difficult for them to access higher education and then matriculate once enrolled. Using Indigenous qualitative methods, Amanda examines how Indigenous Knowledge Systems passed on to Navajo students from generations back help them maneuver and persist at the institution.
Within several other ongoing research projects related to Indigenous college students, Amanda utilizes Indigenous qualitative research methods, centered on Diné ways of gathering and analyzing data, which respects and honors Indigenous protocols of respecting relationality, listening deeply, and knowing what to share. Her project topics include: campus climate for Indigenous students, deconstructing imposter syndrome for college students, Indigenous presence on college campuses, and Indigenous students’ sense of belonging at institutions of higher education.
Tachine, A.R., contributed to American Indian College Fund. (2019). Creating visibility and healthy learning environments for Native Americans in higher education: Declaration of Native purpose in higher education: An Indigenous higher education equity initiative. Denver, CO.
Tachine, A.R., Cabrera, N. & Yellow Bird, E. (2016). Home away from home: Native American students’ sense of belonging during their first year in college. Journal of Higher Education, 88(5),
Tachine, A.R., Yellow Bird, E., & Cabrera, N.L. (2016). Sharing Circles: An Indigenous methodological approach for researching with groups of Indigenous peoples. International Review of Qualitative Research, 9(3), 277-295. (special issue: Indigenous Knowledge as a mode of Inquiry)