Melanie Manuel, a Salish Kootenai College student, looks at some historic artifacts held by Preston Miller, a local history buff and the proprietor of the Four Winds Trading Post. This picture was taken inside the original Flathead Agency building, a log structure built in 1862, which was restored by Preston.

Montana Tribal College Records a Number of Improvements Throughout 2012


Salish Kootenai College (SKC), a tribal college in Pablo, Montana, has seen some positive changes this past year.

The school recently added a first of its kind in the country academic major—tribal historic preservation. Offering associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, the program will prepare students for work with tribal historic preservation offices, tribal cultural departments, museums, cultural resource management firms, and state and federal agencies.

The program, which began enrolling students in September, hopes to become a template for similar curricula. It is meant to help “shape the discourse on tribal historic preservation and the direction of cultural resource management and archaeological research in the 21st century,” reports the Tribal College Journal.

Another positive accolade went to Dr. Lori Lambert, Mi’kmaq/Abenaki, a medical ecologist/anthropologist at SKC, who was awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for faculty research. She and SKC psychology department head Dr. Carol Baldwin traveled to Australian South Sea Islander communities to research indigenous methodologies in psychology.

Mental healthcare is lacking in indigenous communities, as are indigenous mental health providers with expertise in culturally appropriate ways of collecting and interpreting information, Lambert told the Tribal College Journal.

And not all the good news happened this year, in September 2011, SKC blessed and dedicated a state-of-the-art science research laboratories.

"People come up from other universities and they see out instrumentation and they say, 'whoa, I wish we had that,'" SKC Head of Department of Life Sciences Doug Stevens told KPAX.

SKC offers certificates, as well as two- and four-year degrees and serves the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles tribes, but enrollment is not limited to American Indian students. For more information visit

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