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MSU Billings to host Intertribal Language Summit and Language Bowl



Billings, Montana – The Intertribal Language Summit will take place in Petro Theatre at Montana State University Billings from December 7 through 9. Class 7 Native American language educators, as well as K-12 classroom educators, are welcome to participate in the summit. In addition, the Apsaalooke High School Language Bowl will be held in Petro Theatre on December 7 at four o’clock in the afternoon. Pryor High School, Hardin High School, St. Labre High School, and Crow Elementary School are the schools that are competing in the language bowl. The language bowl was created with the intention of paying homage to the Apsaalooke people’s rich culture, history, and language.

Sponsors of the summit include the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal Education, the Chippewa Cree Tribe Department of Indian Education, the Fort Peck Tribes Language & Culture Department, the MSU Billings Native American Achievement Center, and the 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 its transfer partnerships with Fort Peck Community College and Chief Dull Knife College. This makes it possible for graduates of those institutions who have earned certain associate degrees to seamlessly transfer to MSU Billings and complete their bachelor’s degrees in business and education there. Transfer agreements are currently being negotiated in a variety of other academic fields and with a number of additional tribal colleges. Students at MSU Billings will have the opportunity to continue their education in a supportive environment and will have access to the appropriate resources in order to successfully complete their degrees, thanks to the administration’s plans to continue growing and strengthening partnerships with tribal colleges.

“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.”


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