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Christopher Horsethief, PhD

Antioch University Online

Christopher Horsethief is an educator and organizational theorist specializing in complex systems and social processes, collective intelligence problem-solving systems, and post-traumatic community resilience. For 25 years Christopher has been facilitating field analysis of the relationship between culture and communication, documenting the dynamics that pose challenges to Indigenous leaders and organizational resilience that drives language revitalization. His research interest includes social network architectures, cultural entropy, and their role in post-crisis cultural network fragmentation and alignment processes.

Christopher’s instructional experience includes time with Union Institute & University’s doctoral program, Gonzaga University’s MBA-American Indian Entrepreneurship Program, and the Indigenous Scholar in Residence position at College of the Rockies.

  • Non-obvious Pattern Recognition in the Ktunaxa Archival Collection (2013). Received $1,800.00 to explore a subset of the Ktunaxa Archives via the AntWord Profiler and WEKA data mining software, and provided potential uses for word frequency counts and decision trees. The contact person is Gwen Phillips, KNC Director Governance Transition: [email protected]
  • Ktunaxa Language Social Networking Project (2012). Received $4,000.00 for the design and implementation of an online social network. The goal was to identify successful strategies for facilitating group discussions of language and cultural materials. The contact person is Melanie Sam, KNC Director of Traditional Knowledge and Language Program: [email protected]
  • National Philosophical Society (2011). Received $2,500.00 for the Phillips Fund Grant for Native American Research. The topic was “Factors of Change in Native American Languages.” The contact person is Linda Musumeci, Director of Grants and Fellowships: [email protected]
  • Horsethief C. P. (2014). Emergent complex behavior in Social networks: Examples from the Ktunaxa speech community. Cranbrook , BC: Ktunaxa Nation Council.
  • Horsethief C. P. (2013). Leadership Development for Ktunaxa youth: Command structure versus the Crazy Dogs. International Journal of Servant-Leadership (7)4. Gonzaga University/State University of New York. Stable Link:
  • Horsethief C. P. (2013). Re-differentiation as Collective Intelligence: The Ktunaxa language online community. MIT Collective Intelligence 2012 Proceedings. Cambridge, MA; The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Keynote Conference Presentations

  • Visualizing Social Media Advertising: A presentation of network visualizations from Native social networks, as well as data drawn from market research to demonstrate increasing social capital. American Indian Business Leaders 2015 Annual Conference. Albuquerque, NM.
  • Visualizing identity: Examples from First Nations social networks. Presented as the Keynote address at Selkirk College’s Strengthening Our Relations Regional Aboriginal Youth and Educators Conference. Castlegar, BC.

Featured Research Presentations

  • Visualizing structure & agency through social network analysis: A postcolonial case study. Center for Excellence in Indigenous Health, University of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC.
  • Indicators & outcomes: Comparisons of Federal and community-based indicators with respect to participant engagement and efficacy. First Nations Health Council, Musqueam Cultural Center. Vancouver, BC.
  • Systemic boundary violations as barriers to the Beloved Community. Presented at the MLK Luncheon Series, Union Institute and University Academic Residency, 2014. Erlanger, KY.
  • Visualizing social structure & social network agency: A postcolonial case study. Faculty Research Presentation, Union Institute and University Academic Residency, 2014. Erlanger, KY.

Conference Presentations

  • Emergent Behavior in the Ktunaxa Language Social Network: Implications for Leadership. Selected for oral presentation at the 2011
    Seattle University/Gonzaga University Leadership Conference, Seattle, WA.
  • New Worlds and Old Values: Discourse and Neologism in the Ktunaxa Language. Selected for oral presentation at the 2011 Annual Conference of the International Society for Language Studies, Orenjasted, Aruba.
  • What’s in a baptismal name? …if you’re First Nations? …and not Christian? Selected for oral presentation at the 109th Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, Claremont CA.
  • Emergence of Scale-Free Architectures in the Ktunaxa Online Language Community. Selected for oral presentation at Sunbelt 32nd Annual Conference of the International Society of Social Network Analysts. Redondo Beach, CA.
  • Re-Differentiation As Collective Intelligence: The Ktunaxa Language Online Community. Selected for oral presentation at the Collective Intelligence 2012 conference. Cambridge, MA.
  • Complex Network Activity in the Ktunaxa Speech Community. Selected for oral presentation at the 47th Annual International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages Conference. Cranbrook, BC.
  • Meta-vertex creation in online community building: An extension of Dooley’s meta-agents in the context of online communities. Selected for oral presentation at Sunbelt 33rd Annual Conference of the International Society of Social Network Analysts. Hamburg, Germany.
  • Leadership, resilience & cultural entropy: An example from decolonization studies. Selected for Oral Presentation at the 15th Annual
    International Leadership Association Conference. Montreal, Quebec.
  • Visualizing collective intelligence in a problem-solving network. Selected for Oral Presentation at the 35th Annual Conference of the International Network of Social Network Analysts. Tampa, FL.
  • Leadership and cultural entropy: Developing post-crisis psychodynamics. Selected for Oral Presentation at the 16th Annual International Leadership Association Conference. San Diego, CA.

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Union Institute & University, Doctoral Program (2013-present).
    Planned, executed, and evaluated all aspects of the Doctoral program’s FDNS703 Engaging Difference course, and the ECL812 Leadership in a Complex World course. The FDNS 703 course explores the notion of “difference” ranging from emic conceptualizations rooted in one’s cultural framework, to the value of heterogeneous agent preferences and diverse perspectives, to deep structures manifesting themselves in sustained inequitable resource distributions. The ECL 812 course draws from these areas of research and steers the discussion toward understanding the theoretical underpinnings of complex emergent processes as they pertain to leaders, leadership theorists, and leader-follower interactions. The online portions of the courses are administered on MyCampus Web. Additionally, I serve on several comprehensive exam boards, one independent study project, and one dissertation committee. Currently instructing ECL 720  Leadership and Group Dynamics.
  • Adjunct Professor, Gonzaga University, MBA AIE (2012-present).
    Planned, executed, and evaluated all aspects of the MBUS 617 Leadership and MBUS 618 Strategy Seminar courses for Gonzaga University’s Graduate School of Business. The Leadership course focuses on the dynamics of Native American First Nations communities, including key differences between Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Western Ways of Knowing, the Residential School/Boarding School processes, and the common symptoms of collective or cultural trauma. The Strategy seminar identified strategies for moving theoretical understanding of scale-free long-tail aggregators into successful social media practices. Particular emphasis was placed on social network analysis as it pertains to Native American and First Nations business marketing and advertising.
  • Instructor, Spokane Tribal College Spokane/Wellpinit Branches (2005-2012).
    Planned, executed, and evaluated all aspects of the Native American Images in Film (2005, 2006), Introduction to Business (2009-2010), Video Production (2009-2010), Introduction to Marketing (2010-2011), College Algebra (2010-2011), Business Math (2010-2011), Calculator Lab (2010-2011), Introduction to Probability and Statistics (2011-2012), Macroeconomics (2011-2012), and Management and Supervision (2012). Specific attention is paid to developing the occupational skills of tribal students.
  • Instructor, College of the Rockies (2010-2012).
    Implemented all aspects of course delivery for the CotR Nation Rebuilding courses, including Nation Rebuilding (2011), Role and Functions of First Nations Governance (2011), Values (2011), Leadership (2011), and Intergovernmental Relations (2011). The courses prepared students for careers complementary to contemporary social, political, and economic rebuilding efforts.
  • Instructor, College of the Rockies (2011-present).
    Implemented all aspects of course design and delivery for Introductory Ktunaxa Language (2010-2013) and Intermediate Ktunaxa (2010-2012) courses. Courses were offered in the Moodle format, with additional video productions to facilitate learning.
  • Instructor, College of the Rockies (1996-1997).
    Implemented all aspects of course delivery for Social, Political, and Economic Development in First Nations Communities 1 and 2. The courses focused on a wide variety of issues facing First Nations communities, including language and cultural retention efforts, the dynamic and long-term effects of the residential school experience, and contemporary economic development policies.

Curriculum Development

  • Curriculum Consultant, College of the Rockies (2012-2013).
    Participated in evaluating existing course curricula and implementing changes to develop the authenticity of linguistic interpretation of First Nations languages, with specific emphasis on the Ktunaxa language. The courses included Ktunaxa/Linguistics 101 and Ktunaxa /Linguistics 102. The work included significant incorporation of Ktunaxa fluent speaker and community cultural consultant input.
  • Curriculum Consultant, College of the Rockies (2010-2011).
    Participated in evaluating existing course curricula and implementing changes to develop the authenticity of First Nations attitudes, opinions, and experiences. Courses included Aboriginal Worldviews, Aboriginal Ways of Knowing, Aboriginal Families, Aboriginal Family Support Studies, Introduction to the Ktunaxa Language, and Intermediate Ktunaxa.
  • Curriculum Designer, Yaqan Nukiy Tribal School/LKES (2000-2012).
    Contributed to several online and digital Ktunaxa language resources, including the Christine Louie analog tape collection, the Wilfred Jacobs digital tale collection, the Fortis BC sponsored Listen and Learn DVD and the Yaqan Nukiy Tribal School Desktop Elder Interview Collection.
  • Curriculum Development (2008-2010) Aq̓amnik̓ Primary School.
    Contributed to the development of materials to closed the gap between fluent Ktunaxa -speaking community cultural consultants and primary school students. Tasks included community consultation, material development, and delivery/testing of the multimedia language units.


  • Graduate Assistant, Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies (2009-2011)
    Planned, executed, and delivered digital media for the Doctoral Program (DPLS). The productions were designed to share the mission of the DPLS with the leadership studies community at large, as well as prospective students.
  • Research & Teaching Assistant, School of Economic Sciences, WSU (2007-2009)
    Responsible for assisting primary teaching efforts of SES faculty and staff for Theory of the Firm (twice) and Introduction to Macroeconomics (twice). Tasks included planning and delivering recitation lectures, course administration, and record-keeping, and delivery of Aplia online course materials.
  • Nominated for the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, Union Institute and University, 2014.
  • DPLS Assistantship, 2010-2011, Gonzaga University
  • Chateau St. Michelle Native American Scholarship 2008, WSU
  • Plateau Native American Scholarship 2008 and 2009, WSU
  • Marriott-Minority Achievement Program Scholarship, 1993-1994, WWU
  • Member, International Society for Language Studies, 2010-2012
  • Member, International Network of Social Network Analysts, 2012-present
  • Member, International Leadership Association, 2012-present

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