Roxanne Ornelas

Associate Professor of Geography 

Miami University
212 Shideler Hall
Oxford, Ohio 45056


  • BS, Criminal Justice Administration. San Diego State University (1990)
  • MPA, Public Administration. University of Colorado (2001)
  • PhD, Geography. University of Minnesota (2007)


My research focus is on the geographies of Indigenous peoples with an emphasis on the protection of their sacred lands, Indigenous women and environmental leadership, public policy, environmental justice and human rights. I hold affiliate faculty status with the Institute for the Environmental & Sustainability.


  • GEO 111: World Regional Geography
  • GEO 211: Global Change
  • GEO 309, WGS 309: Native American Women
  • GEO 406/506, WGS 406: Indigenous Peoples and Their Sacred Lands
  • WGS 201: Introduction to Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

Selected Publications

  • Ornelas, R.T. (2018). Continue to Tell Them about Us. Giving Back: Research and Reciprocity in Indigenous Settings. R.D.K. Herman (Ed.), pp. 207-223. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press.
  • Ornelas, R.T. (2014). Implementing the Policy of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 5(1). Retrieved from:
  • Ornelas, R.T. (2013). International Treaties Models for Transparency in Governance. The Public Administration TimesInternational, 36(1), 5. Washington, DC: American Society for Public Administration.
  •  Ornelas, R.T. (2012). We Walk for the Water: A Case Study on the Geographies of Indigenous Peoples. Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences, 35, 280-288.
  •  Ornelas, R. T. (2011). Managing the Sacred Lands of Native America. The International Indigenous Policy Journal,2(4). Retrieved from: