UM receives $1 Million Mellon Foundation Grant to Expand Native American Humanities

MISSOULA — The Mellon Foundation has awarded $1 million to the University of Montana to support integrating Indigenous ways of knowing and Native expertise into the curriculum.

The award will support an innovative Indigenous Scholar-in-Residence Program and provide academic support for faculty members to center Indigenous research or teaching methodologies within the Native American Studies Department (NAS) and across the University widely.

“This award aims to elevate knowledge that represents more complete and accurate narratives of the human experience by incorporating perspectives of Native Elders and Knowledge Holders into higher education,” said Dr. Fernando Sanchez, director of the Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute. “By connecting the direct guidance of Elders and other Indigenous Knowledge Holders to Indigenous research and teaching across our Humanities and Arts curricula, the University of Montana intends to provide a national model to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into higher education, an effort to bring knowledge accumulated over millennia in the Indigenous World into Humanities education.”

“This award can help to transform NAS and to create a new vision for Indigenous studies at UM. As we all seek to build a hopeful future, this project seeks to bring community partners into the center of the discussion and to build transformative equitable partnerships in scholarship,” said JPB Fellow Dr. Annie Belcourt, chair of Native American Studies

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