Education | Opinion

Jodi Rave: Don't ask faculty candidates about being Indian

"If you’re looking for American Indian faculty at the University of Montana, look really hard. If you look to UM administrators for answers, you’re looking at a taboo subject.

Montana is one of only three states in the country where American Indians comprise the state’s largest minority. Native people make up 6 percent of the state population and 4 percent of the UM student body. Yet, it’s been more than five years since the UM Native American Studies Department chair was held by an American Indian.

I’ve been on the UM campus since 2009 as a graduate student. Despite the beautiful Payne Family Native American Center building, the light is on but is anybody home?

Only 1 percent of the tenured American Indian faculty at UM in 2010 was Native, a mere 1 percent of the total faculty, according to a UM diversity report. Naturally, when the UM recently announced it would hire for a Native American Research Lab director, it got people’s attention. Would the UM Indian faculty barometer slide up a millimeter?"

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: American Indian faculty an invisible, political voice at University of Montana (Buffalo's Fire 3/18)

Also Today:
UM Native research lab director search brings controversy (The Missoulian 3/19)

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