Patrisia Gonzales

Associate Professor, Mexican American Studies
Tribal Affiliation
Kickapoo Tribe

As the granddaughter of  Kickapoo, Comanche and Macehual peoples who migrated throughout the present-day United States and Mexico, Patrisia Gonzales specializes in Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous medicine. She obtained her Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Her works have been cited in various anthologies and scholarly endeavors. She received various human rights awards for the nationally syndicated Column of the Americas, her early journalistic reportage and for her book The Mud People (Chusma 2003). She was a Distinguished Community Scholar at UCLA's César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Regent’s Scholar at the University of California, San Diego. As a Kellogg Fellow (1997-1999), she explored community healing and helped to establish a promotora project on traditional medicine in New Mexico. She is a promotora of  Indigenous Medicine, an herbalist and an apprenticing Traditional Birth Attendant. As a “promotora-investigadora” or community health promoter-researcher, her courses and research combine applied Indigenous medicinal knowledge with explorations into under-girding philosophies and world views. Her scholarship examines Indigeneity from a hemispheric perspective; Indigenous communication practices; Mesoamerican symbols and codices as medicinal texts; and Indigenous medicine as parallel system(s) of knowledge that challenge and expand the paradigms of Western Science. She collaborates with Indigenous birth workers and the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington. She is faculty in the Native American Research and Training Center and affiliated faculty in the Department of American Indian Studies. As a 2014 fellow in the Udall Center for the Study of Public Policy, she worked on language policy and planning for the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas. She is author of Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing (University of Arizona Press 2012) . She has written the first textbook on American Indian medicine, which includes a curriculum with links to Native-produced videos and websites: Traditional Indian Medicine: American Indian Wellness (Kendall Hunt 2016).

Below is the link to the student-created MAS 435 website on Mexican Indigenous/Traditional Medicine:

and a student-developed encyclopedia on Mesoamerican medicine:

E-Portfolio for Dr. Gonzales:


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