The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1.4 million grant to Salish Kootenai College educator Julie Cajune to create classroom materials focused on preserving Montana’s Indian history and culture, Char-Koosta News reports.
With the grant, Cajune plans to make a film that focuses on the cultural sovereignty of Native tribes and create a “parallel history” that discusses American-Indian historical events and contributions on the timeline commonly taught in U.S. history classes. In addition, Cajune will prepare a children’s book, illustrated calendar book, and seminars and workshops for teachers.
Cajune was recently named one of the “fifty visionaries who are changing the world” by the UTNE Reader for her efforts to gather histories of the twelve recognized tribes in Montana as part of the state’s Indian Education for All Act. Although Montana passed the legislation in 1999, it did not approve adequate funding to enact it in school districts across the state until 2005. Since then, Cajune has partnered with Indian Law clinic professors and tribal attorneys and historians to preserve American-Indian histories.
“As an Indian person, it’s time the United States engages in truth-telling of its own history,” said Cajune. “Even in the higher education sector the Indian history is distorted; it’s shameful.”
Upham, Lailani. “Julie Cajune Awarded Grant to Preserve Indigenous Cultures.” Char-Koosta News 2/04/10.