Sean Daley, PhD, MA

Associate Professor, Department of Community and Population Health; Director, Institute for Indigenous Studies
(610) 758-2581
Office: STEPS 314


Sean M. Daley is an applied sociocultural anthropologist and ethnographer with expertise in American Indian Studies, community-based participatory research, and cultural tailoring. Much of his work lies at the intersections of religion, spirituality, and health. He has been working with Native peoples since 1995 and has worked with Native communities in Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota, as well several other states.  His work has focused heavily on contemporary American Indian health, wellness, and spirituality.  He has also worked in the areas of Native law and policy, identity, education, and the environment.  

Daley has also worked with ranching communities in southern Utah. He worked with Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ranching communities to document the changes in ranching and religious life with the implementation of new federal laws and policies that restricted access to historically accessible public lands of cultural and religious significance. He has also worked with rodeo cowboys (bull riders, bareback riders, and saddle bronc riders) in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Utah looking at injuries received while participating in rodeos.  More recently, Daley has been working with the Roman Catholic Church. He has been working in the areas of contemporary healing, spiritual warfare, deliverance, and exorcism ministries.

Daley received his PhD in sociocultural anthropology with a minor in US federal law from the University of Connecticut in 2005, an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona in 1998, and a BA in anthropology and American Indian Studies from Livingston College at Rutgers University in 1996. 

Prior coming to Lehigh University, Daley was a professor of anthropology and the director of the Center for American Indian Studies at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas for 15 years.  He is also the co-founder and the co-director of the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance, a non-profit alliance of organizations whose mission is to partner and collaborate with American Indian peoples, nations, communities, and organizations to improve the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of American Indians throughout the United States through quality participatory research and educational programs.


  • PhD  Sociocultural Anthropology (minor in U.S. Federal Law), University of Connecticut, 2005, Major Advisor: Robert L. Bee, Ph.D.
  • MA    American Indian Studies, University of Arizona, 1998, Major Advisor: Jennie R. Joe, Ph.D.
  • BA    American Indian Studies and Anthropology, Livingston College, Rutgers University, 1996, Major Advisor: William K. Powers, Ph.D.

Areas of Research and Publications

American Indian health disparities, American Indian education, American Indian social issues, sociocultural anthropology, community-based participatory research, and religion and spirituality

Daley's research focuses primarily on American Indian health and education disparities and social inequities. He also researches illnesses, sicknesses, and diseases that are of spiritual or supernatural origins in certain Indigenous, Christian, and syncretic belief systems.

Awards and Honors

  • 2019 “Celebrate America” Award, Professional Bull Riders, Pueblo, Colorado
  • 2018 Awarded “Fellow” Status, Society for Applied Anthropology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • 2014 35th Annual Telly Awards – Bronze Level Award – Non-Broadcast Film Production for Naz Bah Ei Bijeh: The Heart of a Warrior, Telly Awards, New York, New York
  • 2014 Nominee, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Outstanding Performance Award, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas
  • 2013 Keynote Faculty Speaker, Annual State of the College Address, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas
  • 2009 Formal Recognition by the Board of Trustees for Accomplishments in American Indian Studies, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas
  • 2008 Faculty Award for Excellence in Service-Learning, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas


  • American Indian Healing Traditions
  • Contemporary American Indian Health and Wellness
  • Cultural Competence in Health
  • Culture and Health
  • Religion, Spirituality, and Health
  • Social Determinants of Health