Alicia Nani Reyes (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D. student in Educational Administration at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM). She is Mēxihcatl (Aztec) and Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian), born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, the ancestral homelands of the Nuwu (Southern Paiute). In 2014 Alicia moved to Reno, Nevada, to pursue her undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), which occupies the ancestral homelands of the Wašiw (Washoe) tribe. As a first-generation mixed-Indigenous college student, Alicia struggled to navigate a Predominantly White Land Grab University; however, with the support of the Indigenous Student Organization and Native American Alumni Chapter, she reclaimed her space within higher education. Alicia’s research focuses on equity and justice for Native and Indigenous students at Settler Institutions. More specifically, understanding the moral obligations of settler institutions to serve their local Tribal Nations. She draws on her own experiences being of the Native Hawaiian Diaspora and an Urban Native and what it means to engage with local Native communities while not being in her ancestral homelands. Alicia utilizes her knowledge to advocate for educational administrators and leaders to make an equitable change that can empower Indigenous students and communities as they navigate higher education. Currently, she is a graduate research assistant in the Educational Administration Department at UHM and engaging in participatory action research with local communities of Hawai’i. She chose to join EDEA to learn from and work with her amazing advisor to explore more intimately how Kānaka Maoli communities engage with higher education institutions.

COE Affiliation

Educational Administration