College of Education and Human Development

School of Social Work

Katie Johnston-Goodstar

  • Pronouns: she, her, they, them

  • Associate Professor

  • Office Hours

    per request

Katie Johnston-Goodstar

Areas of interest

Indigenous youth work; Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR); Histories of youth work and social work; Youth-led social and systems transformation: educational justice; environmental justice; sexual exploitation and the recovery of land and lifeways for wellness.


PhD, Social Welfare, University of Washington
Master of Social Work, University of Washington
Graduate Certificate: International Development Policy & Management, University of Washington


Katie is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota. Drawing on Indigenous, decolonial and social justice frameworks, she collaborates with youth and community to engage social justice issues and build community wellness. Her most recent research projects include 1) an Indigenous youth participatory action research (YPAR) project to transform public schooling; 2) a collective recovery of traditional ecological knowledge and lifeways to revitalize community wellness; 3) a YPAR project to disrupt sexual exploitation and 4) an implementation science project exploring indigenized healthy eating and physical activity for youth to reduce health disparities.

Katie is on leave for the 2022-23 academic year exploring culturally-sustaining, place-based youth work and youth action on environmental issues like climate change and the recovery of land and lifeways and its impact of youth wellness (reconnection - action - well-being). 


Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2022). Adolescent Development, Children & Youth in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health, Editors-in chief: Jessica Nina Lester & Michelle O’Reilly

Johnston-Goodstar, K., Boucher, L. & RedShirt Shaw, M. (2022). You Take the Punches: Native Youth Experiences of School Pushout, submitted to Equity & Excellence in Education

Johnston-Goodstar, K., Waubanascum, C. & Eubanks, D (2022) Human Services for Indigenous Futures in (Eds) R.M. Webster and J. Bauerkemper, Tribal Administration Handbook, Michigan State University Press

Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2020). Decolonizing Youth Development: Re-imagining Indigenous Youth Futures, AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples

Martin, L., Rider, N. Johnston-Goodstar, K. Menanteau, B., Palmer, C. & McMorris, B. (2020). Prevalence of trading sex among high school students: Demographics, adverse experiences and relevant health-related statuses, Journal of Adolescent Health

Johnston-Goodstar, K. & R. Velure Roholt (2017) “Our Kids Aren’t Dropping Out, They’re Being Pushed Out”: Native American students and racial microaggressions in schools submitted to the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work.

Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2016) Indigenous Wellness Research Institute: Narratives on Social Work Education and Mentorship for Indigenous Health & Wellness, Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 21(2), 30-36.

Johnston-Goodstar, K., Piescher, K. & LaLiberte, T. (2016) Critical Experiential Learning in the Native American Community for Title IV-E Students: A Pilot Evaluation, Journal of Public Child Welfare, 10(3), 310-326.

Johnston-Goodstar, K., Richards-Schuster, K. & Sethi, J. (2014). Exploring Critical Youth Media Practice: Connections and Contributions for Social Work, Social Work, 59(4), 1-8.

Johnston-Goodstar, K. & Sethi, J. (2013). Youth Media as Social Justice Youth Development, Journal of American Indian Education, 52(3), 65-80.

Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2013). Indigenous Youth Participatory Action Research: Re-visioning Social Justice for Social Work with Indigenous Youth, Social Work, 58(4), 314-320.

Johnston-Goodstar, K. & R. VeLure Roholt (2013). Unintended Consequences of Professionalization: Lessons from Social Work and Education, Child & Youth Services, 34(2), 139-155.

Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2012) Decolonizing Evaluation: The necessity of advisory groups in Indigenous evaluation, New Directions for Evaluation, (136), 109-117.


Johnston-Goodstar, K. Waubanascum, C. & K. Richards (2021) Social Work for Civilization: Reckoning with the Legacies of Social Work Pioneers, Council on Social Work Education, Orlando, FL

Johnston-Goodstar, K., Martin L., et al (2022) Trading Sex among Native+ youth in Minnesota, Safe Harbors Annual Conference

Cammarota, J. Johnston-Goodstar, K., et al (2017) Beyond Representation, What Youth can Learn through Participatory Action Research, Voices Heard: Transforming Education Equity, Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers conference, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN 

Cammarota, J. & Johnston-Goodstar, K. et al (2017) Engaging Youth Voices YPAR panel, Voices Heard: Transforming Education Equity, Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers conference, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN

Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2017). Dismantling colonial complicity in higher education: Examining the intellectual preparation of social workers and teachers, International Consortium on Social Development, Zagreb, Croatia

Lozenski, B, Gust, S. & Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2017). What Went Wrong: Finding Our Way to Social Change by Examining Dilemmas, Midwest Campus Compact Conference: Doing Democracy: Asset-Based Engagement and Culture Change, Chicago, IL

Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2017) Working towards Sovereignty: Indigenous youth and Participatory Action Research as a liberation from and refusal of public schooling, American Education Research Association, San Antonio, TX