GRIC member will teach virtual AIS intro course at TOCC

Kyle Knox
Gila River Indian News



A great educational opportunity for Community members will be available this fall from Tohono O’odham Community College.  Courses are being offered free of charge to Native American students.  One particular course offered will be taught by Community member Jiivik Siiki, from Hashan Kehk, through their online Intro to American Indian Studies (AIS 101) course.


At the beginning of the year, Siiki taught the first in-person TOCC course in the Community in his home district. The partnership with the Community’s Tribal Education Department and Community proved decisive, and he looks forward to offering the course again for more students this fall. Siiki said, “The most gratifying part of this is that I’m able to use my degree in the community where I was born and raised and teaching my own relatives from the community.”


Siiki has a Master’s in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and currently works as the Phoenix area coordinator for Tohono O’odham Community College.  His role is to help support new and current students with enrollment, registration, and student support. Siiki is proud  to put his degree to work and encourages Community members to take advantage of this opportunity.


The AIS course will be virtual and will require students to attend live webinars at a designated time. The course will mostly likely be offered Tuesday evenings as it was last semester with Siiki hoping to accommodate schedules for anyone who works during the day.


The course covers an array of topics including American Indian history, European colonization, decolonization, American policies, boarding schools and their affects in Native communities. Throughout the course instruction, he also emphasizes O’otham history and language.


Guest speakers and presenters are also part of the curriculum to provide a deeper understanding of the content.

Cost-free courses from TOCC may only be this coming fall. Siiki encourages anyone interested to take advantage of this also stating, “for any community member or O’otham, this is a real good opportunity to get your feet wet when it comes to taking a college class, though scary just sign up, join the first class and you’ll see what college classes are like.”


Registration is open now with the first day of classes starting Aug. 24. Siiki estimates that he may offer up to 50 students for his course, so registering sooner than later is best. 


For more information on the course and how to register, you can visit And you can also contact Siiki directly by phone at (520) 993-3023 or by email at