The pragmatism of Native American Studies : an examination of Native American Studies at Montana State University and its relationship to Montana's tribal colleges
Miller, Colin Fields
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This thesis examines the relationship between Montana State University-Native American Studies and Montana's tribal colleges. The thesis seeks to bridge the academic classroom with the pragmatic tribal community through outreach efforts. The author attempts to gauge the interest, between Fort Peck Community College and MSU-NAS, as to implementing measures such as a student exchange program and MSU-NAS tribal community service initiative. Measures such as these seek to improve communication, cooperation, and collaboration between the two institutions. The author's methods include conducting multiple interviews with MSU-NAS faculty, tribal college faculty, MSU-NAS graduate students, and former MSU-NAS graduate students. The author also traveled to Fort Peck Community College on two separate occasions to discuss these ideas. The results of these trips and interviews evidence a clear desire within the MSUNAS department, as well as at FPCC, to foster a stronger relationship through efforts such as a student exchange program and possibly a tribal community service initiative. The author concludes that more formal efforts made by MSU-NAS towards FPCC will improve the department's outreach component. The author also concludes that the faculty at FPCC, particularly Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Florence Garcia, will be receptive of these efforts and open to a dialogue regarding increased cooperation and collaboration between the two institutions. The author believes that a formal memo of understanding, drafted by MSU-NAS and sent to FPCC, detailing the efforts that MSU-NAS is willing to make regarding a student exchange program would be helpful to this end. The author also concludes with a recommendation that a formal dialogue begins among MSU-NAS faculty, which examines ways in which MSU-NAS can have a more practical relationship with Montana's tribal communities.