Summer Session Instructors

Instructor Bios

Adrienne Tsikewa (invited), Zuni Pueblo, is currently a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is heavily involved with Natives4Linguistics, a collaborative project that promotes Indigenous needs and intellectual tools as ways of doing linguistic science. She currently serves as the convener for the newly formed Native4Linguistics Special Interest Group (under the Linguistic Society of America). She is also a current member of the CoLang Advisory Circle and co-facilitated the Life in Communities course in 2018. She earned an MA in Native American Languages and Linguistics (NAMA) from the University of Arizona in 2013. During her time at Arizona, she served as a Graduate Assistant for the American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI). Her research interests include language documentation and description, language reclamation, language maintenance/revitalization, sociocultural and applied linguistics. (invited)


Qötsahonmana / Sheilah E. Nicholas, Hopi, is faculty in the Language, Reading, and Culture Program, Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies (LRC/TLS) at the University of Arizona. In her own words: In my home community of Hopi, in northeastern Arizona, I am Qötsahonmana, White Bear Girl, Qalwungwa, Sunforehead Clan, and from the village of Songoopavi, on Second Mesa. In the Western world and academia, I am Sheilah E. Nicholas.

In TLS, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in Indigenous Culture-Based Education, Language and Culture, Oral Traditions Across Societies, Minority Language Education, and Teacher Preparation.  For AILDI, I have designed and taught co-convened undergraduate and graduate courses with a general focus in:  Integrating Language and Culture into the Classroom; Teaching Responsibly; Teaching with Responsibility, and Oral Immersion Language Teaching.  I also contribute to AILDI’s outreach to tribal communities through professional development workshops as assistance to their language reclamation/revitalization efforts and initiatives.  In a similar capacity, I am an Immersion Instructor-Consultant for the Indigenous Language Institute (ILI), Santa Fe, NM.  Many of the educators and practitioners from these tribal communities also attend AILDI. 

My scholarship and research focus includes:  Indigenous/Hopi language maintenance and reclamation; Indigenous language epistemologies and ideologies; the intersection of language, culture, and identity; and Indigenous language teacher education.  My publications draw from my dissertation, “Becoming Fully Hopi:  The Role of the Hopi Language in the Contemporary Lives of Hopi Youth—A Hopi Case Study of Language Shift and Vitality,” and my work with the Hopi Tribe’s Hopilavayi Summer Institute for Hopi Language Teachers (2004-2010).  Currently, Along with colleagues, Dr. Teresa McCarty and Dr. Michael Seltzer at UCLA, and Dr. Tiffany Lee at UNM, I am the UA Co-PI for a national study, “Indigenous-Language Immersion and Native American Student Achievement,” funded by the Spencer Foundation.


Amy Fountain is an Associate Professor, Career Track, in the department of linguistics at the University of Arizona.  She is a white person who grew up in Eastern Washington State, and earned her PhD in the Joint Program in Anthropology and Linguistics here at the UA in 1998.  Amy has been engaged in online teaching and learning since 2006, and she has worked in various aspects of educational technology development, support and assessment in addition to her primary work in linguistics since the late 1990s.  She has been fortunate to be able to work on a long-term grass-roots language technology development project under the leadership the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Language Programs, the Coeur d’Alene Online Language Resource Center (COLRC).  Her areas of interest in linguistics are language reclamation and materials repatriation, in the study of the sound systems and word-formation systems of languages of the Americas, and in finding ways to support Indigenous scholars and communities in their work.

Watch Amy Fountain's course introduction and welcome video.


Mosiah Bluecloud, Kickapoo, is an enrolled member of the Kickapoo tribe of Oklahoma. He is a second year PhD student In the LInguistics program. He came to the U of A in 2019 to pursue his Master of Arts degree in the Department of Linguistics, specializing in Native American Linguistics. Mosiah started out his Language worker journey as an audio and video technician intern working for the Sauk language program out of Stroud Oklahoma. He then received 668 hours of professional development training in Immersion instruction after learning the Sauk language through the Sauk language's modified Master/Apprentice program. In 2016 Mosiah started the Kickapoo language development program where he created multimedia language learning materials using his skills developed working for 'Tiger Den' and 'TNT' on the local channel in Norman Oklahoma. Mosiah has won numerous short film awards and a 'Student Emmy' for his documentary over the state of Indigenous languages in Oklahoma titled 'When it's gone it's gone'. (invited)


James McKenzie, Diné, is a PhD student in the Language, Reading Culture program at the University of Arizona, where he is focused on maintenance and revitalization of Indigenous language and culture, and Indigenous immersion and culture-based education. He has worked in academic and community settings to contribute to and organize efforts for Indigenous language and culture education, including as Director of the Navajo Language Immersion Institute, and in initiating Navajo immersion programming, as well as development of a bachelor’s degree based in Navajo language immersion. He has contributed to research on Indigenous language and multimodal meaning-making on land, and instructional strategies in Indigenous immersion education. His interests include research, teaching and technical assistance work around curriculum and pedagogy with his own Diné community, and other Indigenous communities, to revisit the concepts of language cultivation and education as defined by Indigenous peoples.



Christina Newhall  (Unangax/Aleut)  is an enrolled member of the Native Village of Unga, and a Ph.D. student in Linguistics at the University of Arizona. She earned a Masters in Native American Languages and Linguistics in 2016 from Arizona and has attended AILDI workshops and summer sessions since 2015 as a student, a researcher, a Graduate Assistant, and as an archival videographer. Her primary research centers around holistic Indigenous practices and lifeways, and how heritage language learning and teaching affect individual identity and community health and wellbeing. Christina has worked on a variety of language projects, including an initiative at the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices which is intended to assist community researchers and language activists in accessing archived materials stored in the National Anthropological Archives. She has also interned for her language community’s summer program in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands and is a learner of her heritage language Unangam Tunuu. She currently teaches undergraduate courses at the University of Arizona that focus on issues related to sociocultural practices, language ideologies, identity and language use.