Author Bio

Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn, Ph.D., is a citizen of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Umatilla/Nez Perce/Apache and Assiniboine Nations. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington in Tacoma and the Director of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. Her research interests include Indigenous leadership, Indigenous-based doctoral experiences, and the impact Native American sororities and Indigenous motherhood in the academy. She is the co-editor of the Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education book published by Routledge and Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education published by Rutgers University Press. robstarr@uw.edu

Heather J. Shotton, Ph.D., is a citizen of the Wichita & Affiliated Tribes, and is also of Kiowa and Cheyenne descent. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma and the incoming Director of Indigenous Education Initiatives for the OU Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. Her research focuses on Indigenous higher education, Indigenous college students, and Indigenous women in academia. She served as a co-editor for three books that address Indigenous higher education; Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education (Stylus), Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education (Rutgers University Press), and Beyond Access: Indigenizing Programs for Native American Student Success (Stylus). hshotton@ou.edu


This article addresses the problematic deficiency in research and scholarship that centers Indigenous women’s voices in educational leadership. As Indigenous women scholars, we engaged a qualitative study that involved Indigenous women leaders from across the United States, and our discussion in this work focuses on the perspectives of Indigenous women working in education. We first provide a current snapshot of Indigenous women in postsecondary education and review preliminary theories on Indigenous leadership. We highlight cultural, social, and political factors that influence Indigenous women educational leaders, and we conclude with recommendations for the cultivation of future Indigenous women leaders.