July 26, 2022
The Native American Achievement Center at Montana State University Billings has been awarded a Supporting Indigenous Arts Mastery program grant for the 2022-2023 academic year.
The SIAM program is designed to help community colleges and four-year public and private universities in supporting cultural arts of tribal communities under the institution’s outreach and own departments. The program is modeled after the work of The Evergreen State College’s Longhouse Education and Cultural Center and is designed to help support work done by institutions with tribal communities to support visual arts.
The NAAC will be utilizing the program and funding to initiate a series of workshops highlighting the unique artwork and culture of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne tribes. Workshops will include crafting high-top moccasins, feather fans, and belt making; lectures related to the culture and historical significance of these objects; and a final exhibit and reception of the artwork completed over the three-month program.
“This project is an acknowledgement and tribute to the importance of indigenous arts and culture,” says Sunny Day Real Bird, director of the Native American Achievement Center. “It’s a way to show respect for the work of artists and cultural keepers by sharing their talent and knowledge. By focusing on a Native American student presence, the work and lineage of these artists and their predecessors will live on in the future artwork of the attending participants.”
The workshops will be free to students from the Native American Achievement Center and tribal members. Remaining spots in the program will be reserved for certified educators in Montana who will be able to enroll and earn continuing education credits for a fee, based on the cost of materials.
“I am excited for the opportunity for MSU Billings to partner with the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations to support Native American art and culture on our campus, Our students and community will be able to learn more about cultural insights and historical knowledge through this program.” says MSUB Chancellor Stefani Hicswa.
This program is made possible by a grant from the “House of Welcome Cultural Arts Center.”