American Indian Gateway

The University of Montana is located in the heart of traditional Salish territory.

The University of Montana is committed to providing education for and about American Indian people and communities in Montana, the United States, and beyond.


The purpose of the American Indian Gateway web portal at UM is to highlight “all things Native” in one place. It is for everyone on campus and across Griz Nation. The American Indian Gateway provides access to University webpages that feature academic programs, research and studies related to American Indian communities, American Indian faculty and staff members, student programs and clubs, alumni relations, the University’s Strategic Plan and news and events across campus and within the community.

The University of Montana opened the Payne Family Native American Center (PFNAC) in 2010. It is a Platinum LEED Certified building, the first on campus. The PFNAC provides a bridge between Native American and mainstream cultures. It serves as an academic center, social and cultural hub, and gathering space. It provides a symbol of goodwill, unity, and intersection.

The Payne Family, UM and the College of Humanities and Sciences joined together to honor the life and work of Elouise Cobell by creating The Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute. Housed within the Payne Family Native American Center, the Institute will engage students in project-based learning and outreach.

The entrance to PFNAC

Smudging Policy

The University of Montana recognizes that time-honored indigenous traditions and ceremonies involving smudging have passed from generation to generation. In support of the cultural integrity of these native traditions, the University has designated venues on campus for smudging.