I am Christie Poitra (Puerto Rican, Colombian and Turtle Mountain Chippewa descent). I hold a dual appointment as an Academic Specialist in the Michigan State University (MSU) Native American Institute and the Office of K-12 Outreach. Through these two offices, I conduct community-based participatory research to better understand the educational inequities that impact American Indian K-12 achievement. My most recent research examines the political processes that tribal governments go through to create educational policy for their youth.
My commitment to American Indian and Indigenous studies is longstanding. I have a Ph.D. in Educational Policy from MSU and a Master of Arts degree in American Indian Studies from UCLA. I regularly publish opinion editorials in Indian Country Today and have served as a reviewer for the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and the Journal of American Indian Education. Prior to receiving my doctorate, I was a first grade teacher at Tohatchi Elementary School on the Navajo Nation. I have also held roles at the UC Berkeley Native American Recruitment and Retention Center, the UCLA School of Law Tribal Legal Development Clinic, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
As a NAISA member, I have watched the organization blossom by bringing together an array of perspectives on American Indian and Indigenous issues. If given the opportunity to join the Nominations Committee, I will work to ensure that NAISA continues to thrive by attracting and vetting talented candidates for its annual election, and supporting the logistics of the election ballot process.