Tristan Reader

About Tristan Reader

I come to AIS after 20 years of working in the field of sustainable community development, cultural revitalization, and food systems renewal within the Tohono O’odham community.  From 1996 through 2015, I was honored to work at Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA), a grassroots organization that I helped found. Throughout that time, nurturing creative and dynamic partnership was the foundation for my work. I am excited to find ways to continue building such collaborative relationships with the students, staff and faculty of AIS, as well as Native communities throughout the Southwest and beyond.

My work at TOCA has guided and informed my academic work on both methodological and subject levels. In particular, I focus on the ways in which efforts to reassert Native food sovereignty contribute in five areas: 1) leadership development and community empowerment; 2) cultural revitalization; 3) public health and wellness; 4) sustainable and Indigenous economics; and 5) expanding conceptions of tribal sovereignty and collective rights. This has been – and remains – a primary focus of my research interests.

My teaching interests include:

  • Indigenous Food Sovereignty
  • Future Food Systems: Globalization and Its Alternatives
  • Participatory Action Research and Indigenous Methodologies
  • American Indian Community Development
  • Nonprofits and Native Communities
  • Theory and Practice of Community Leadership
  • Critique and Social Change: Critical Theories and Engaged Praxis


Tristan Reader's picture

Contact Information

Tristan Reader
Assistant Professor of Practice
Office: Harvill 226D
Office Hours: Mondays: 1:00-3:00pm & Thursdays: 10:00am-noon

Catalog Courses by Faculty

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences