MSU BILLINGS NEWS — Montana State University Billings will host the Intertribal Language Summit Dec. 7-9 in Petro Theatre. The summit is open to Class 7 Native American language educators and K-12 classroom educators. An Apsaalooke High School Language Bowl will also take place on Dec. 7 at 4:00 p.m. in Petro Theatre. Schools participating in the language bowl are Pryor High School, Hardin High School, St. Labre High School, and Crow Elementary School. The purpose of the language bowl is to honor the Apsaalooke language, culture and history.
Summit sponsors are Chippewa Cree Tribe Department of Indian Education, Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal Education, Fort Peck Tribes Language & Culture Department, MSU Billings Native American Achievement Center, and MSU Center for Bilingual & Multicultural Education.
Class 7 President, Michael Geboe says, “I want to thank the administrators of the schools involved for prioritizing tribal language, culture, and history of our tribes in Montana. The Intertribal Language Summit advocates positive light for many students who have spoken any of our tribal languages.” Geboe also acknowledges Representative Windy Boy’s effort in the recent and past legislatures in Helena representing all Montana tribes and adds that Jonathan Eagleman has been instrumental with a vision on how Native languages are being practiced at home, in the schools, and at ceremonies. “I look forward to Ramey Escarcega-Growing Thunder's welcoming address to all at the Montana State University Billings campus next week. Ramey serves as the Vice-President of the Class 7 Alliance and advocates tribal leadership and excellence.”
MSU Billings recently strengthened transfer partnerships with Fort Peck Community College and Chief Dull Knife College, to make it possible for their graduates with certain associate degrees to seamlessly transfer to MSU Billings to complete bachelor’s degrees in business and education. Transfer agreements are in the works in other areas of study and with additional tribal colleges. MSU Billings’ administration plans to continue growing and strengthening partnerships with tribal colleges to ensure students have the opportunity to continue their education in a supporting environment and have access to the appropriate resources to successfully complete their degree.
“MSU Billings is honored to host several Native American events every year and to be a sponsor of the language summit,” said MSUB Chancellor Stefani Hicswa. “We are honored to partner with Montana’s Native American Tribal colleges and associated tribes to help ensure and promote educational access for all.”