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Tuesday, October 10 • 3:45pm - 4:15pm
Effective University Partnerships with Native American Communities: Stories from Montana (30 mins)

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Montana is ranked among the top 25 percent of states with Native American populations. The state has seven reservations and a population of about six percent Native Americans statewide. Native Americans are the largest historically underrepresented group of students at the University of Montana. The colonization of Native American populations has an impact on historical trauma and contemporary outcomes like the average length of time for undergraduate graduation, retention and advancement of Science Technology Engineering and Math faculty, and the over incarceration of Native American women (36 percent of Montana’s women in state prison). Understanding the factors contributing to longer student graduation timelines, faculty success, and over-incarceration rates require engagement approaches that are culturally grounded in Indigenous research and practice methods for research and program evaluation with Native American participants. Kirkness & Barnhardt (1991) outline the 4 R’s of Indigenous people in higher education that inform a path to creating a synthesized approach to teaching, research and service by emphasizing respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility. The presentation will feature stories describing why and how to focus on the 4 R’s in collaborations with Native American communities. The impacts of learning with and from Native American students resulted in developing research projects that inform the development of trainings for faculty and administrators co-lead by an undergraduate student and Assistant Professor, supportive services for women who were incarcerated, and a 1.7 million dollar National Science Foundation grant focused on mentoring Native American faculty.


Laurie Walker

Associate Professor, University of Montana

Tuesday October 10, 2017 3:45pm - 4:15pm MDT
Colorado H