Indigenous Peoples Day

Dear Campus Community,

Today on our campus and across Montana, we observe Indigenous Peoples Day.

The University of Montana is located within the aboriginal territories of the Salish and Kalispel people – many of whom are students, employees and alumni of our University. Not just today, but every day, we recognize and celebrate the rich cultures and traditions of Montana’s tribal nations, and we aim to care for this place with their same passion for generations to come.

At UM, we strive for diversity and inclusion as we celebrate the histories of everyone who strengthens the identity of our campus. Montana’s history is largely defined by the Native American tribes who cared and defended this land for thousands of years. By celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day, we honor those who have called this valley home for centuries, but we also recognize the ongoing contributions Native students, faculty, staff and alumni make each day to UM.

We are at our best when we prioritize our partnership with Montana’s tribal communities and work to fulfill the potential of every Native American student who steps foot on our campus. Beyond observing history, we must continue to prioritize Native education for all and participate in continuous learning from our Indigenous peers.

I encourage everyone to participate in any of the ongoing events today to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day and learn more about these important members of our UM family. 

  • 8:30 a.m. – Tribal flag raising at the Payne Family Native American Center. 
  • 10 a.m. – American Indian Student Services sponsors a lodge raising and socially distant giveaway and raffle on the Oval.
  • 11 a.m. – “Starting a 2+2 Program with a Tribal College and University," presented as a Zoom event by Alana Bahe, director of the Community Health Department at Salish Kootenai College, and Dr. Blakley Brown, UM professor with Public and Community Health Sciences.
  • Noon – UM Indigenous Peoples Day Proclamation and Guest Speakers, presented as a Zoom event
  • 12:30 p.m. – Song Chant/Hula Dance Showcase, sponsored by the Pacific Islanders Club on the Oval.
  • 1-2:30 p.m. – “Formalizing a 2+2 Agreement between a Tribal College and University and Implementing and Sustaining 2+2 Programs,” presented by Dr. Deanna Cooper, UM School of Social Work BSW program director; Dr. Marilyn Zimmerman, senior director of policy and programs with UM’s National Native Children’s Trauma Center; and Paige Furniss, UM social work program coordinator.  
  • 2 p.m. – Indigenous Peoples Day Presentations. “UM Indigenous Scholars: Enhancing Tribal Knowledge in Research,” presented as a Zoom event.

Our time at UM is just one short chapter in the long story of this valley. The UM story does not exist without the story of the Indigenous people who came before us and continue to inspire today as our friends and colleagues. I hope you can take time today to celebrate with us and participate in any of the Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at UM and across Missoula.