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Contributing Teachers

Of the twenty-five summer scholars, the following shared their lesson plans that incorporated their studies of Indigenous literatures. Some Institute participants made entirely new teaching units and others incorporated their new knowledge into established curricula. Thank you all for your willingness to share.

Matthew Bell

Social Justice in Social Media Outline

Missoula, MT - High School Native American Culture

I'm Nakoda and Aaniiih from Fort Belknap, Montana.  I currently work in Missoula at Big Sky and Willard Alternative High Schools where I teach Native Studies, Native Cooking, Native Film, and others.  Additionally, I was recently elected as the Montana Education Association Director At-Large and Building Representative for Big Sky high school.  

Mark Botti

Indigenous Literature

Mark Botti is dressed as MacBeth in school photo.

San Francisco, CA - Grades 10 and 12 English

I teach Sophomore and Senior English at Mercy High School, and am just finishing my sixteenth year.  I've always been a fan of Montana and often spend a chunk of my summers in Bozeman. I am excited for this opportunity to explore new and thought-provoking ideas that I can bring back to my students and colleagues. 

Abby Cohen

Native American Poetry

New York City - Grade 5 Humanities, Grades 8 and 10 English

As a school community we have been deeply engaged in conversations about race, equity, privilege, and access. In the English & World Literature Department, we are working to create a curriculum that balances (at least) two competing needs: we want our students to see themselves in the literature they study and we want to present multiple perspectives. We offer electives in Caribbean, Middle Eastern, East Asian, African, and Latin American Literatures but we do not currently offer a Native American Literature course. This summer's seminar will be the beginning of my education in the literatures of indigenous peoples and I hope that I will be able to share the experience of discovering this literature with my students.

Suzanne Flint

The American Dream

Nashua, MT - 7-12 English

I teach 7-12 English in a school that sits on the edge of the Fort Peck Reservation, so I teach a mix of Native and Non-Native students.  Very few of my students have left the tiny rural area they were born in, so I incorporate a lot of different cultural and global issues in their curriculum.  I am very excited for the institute and to get back to Missoula.  It's a fun community and I can't wait to re-explore it all with you. 

Anne Grant

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Browning, MT - Multiple interdisciplinary subjects

I am a recent graduate of the University of Montana with a M.S. in Environmental Studies and have really enjoyed living in the community of Missoula these past two years while attending school. I taught multiple subjects and continue to promote Indian Education for All through presentations at schools here in Missoula. My interdisciplinary graduate portfolio is on indigenous environmental histories, traditional ecological knowledge systems and cross-cultural communication. 

Darren A. Herrold

United States History

Huxley, Iowa – Social Studies, History, Economics and Government

I currently teach 9th grade United States History at Ballard High School, the same school I attended.  It was interesting to come back and work with teachers that had instructed me.  Ballard averages about 130-150 students per grade, so we are in the upper 25% of enrollment in Iowa.  The area is an upper-middle class district in the middle of Iowa, just south of Ames and north of Des Moines.  I think I have taught most everything in our Social Studies Department:  US History, Economics, Government, Sociology, Constitutional Law, Political Assassinations, and Iowa History.  I have also been in charge of our drop-out prevention/credit recovery program.  I am extremely active in extra-curricular activities at Ballard.  In addition to teaching, I do the following other activities:  Head Grade Level Advisor, 7-12 Home Schooling Coordinator, announcer for football and softball games, and Junior Class Sponsor in charge of our prom each spring.  I am also an assistant varsity girls’ basketball coach and assistant varsity boys’ track coach.

Kristan Jiggetts

American Literature

Deerfield, IL - English Teacher and Assistant Girls Swimming Coach

I teach 11th grade American Literature and 11th and 12th grade Media Studies: Film and TV. I am very excited to bring new texts and cultural perspectives to our students that will include the indigenous experience. Although I am a Chicago native, my husband is from Missoula and we were engaged on the Highline Trail at Glacier- such an amazing place. 

Priscilla Lindberg

Place-Based Knowledge and the Quinault River and Current Issues in Indian Country:  The Legacies of the Age of Exploration

Seattle, WA - Humanities, grades 9 and 10

I teach Upper School Humanities at an independent day and boarding school in downtown Seattle. I've been teaching for about 15 years and have always found the indigenous perspective both the most interesting and most difficult to access. I am psyched to be spending my summer with you all in Montana, a place similar in many ways to Mongolia, where I spent time living. My photo is of myself with a domesticated reindeer from the Tsaatan people in Northern Mongolia, similar to the Sami. I can't wait to learn about the similarities and differences. I see this institute as a chance to get the best training available to be a better teacher for both my native and non-native students.

Paul Moradkhan

Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS)

San Jose, CA - High School English

I have been a high school English teacher for the past 16 years.  Recently, my school became an IB school, and I was given the opportunity to teach an awesome class called Theory of Knowledge.  Indigenous knowledge systems is a topic of study in this course; a topic about which I feel terribly uninformed.  But, thankfully, I was accepted to this fellowship and welcome the opportunity to learn all I can.  I am very excited to meet all of you and to explore the indigenous experience together.

Dave Oberbillig

Indian Education for All in the Science Curriculum

Missoula, Montana - High School Biology

I teach at a school very near the University of Montana. I have a few activities in mind, but it would be good to hear from others about whether or not a trip to Glacier sounds interesting. One thing about a trip north out of Missoula is that it truly is a land of amazing Native American history and culture so it serves well in support of the Institute.

Mary Rafferty

Identity, Empowerment and Recovery

New Mexico - English and Filmmaking

For the past fifteen years, I have worked with pregnant and parenting teens in Albuquerque.  I have never met more genuine human beings than these young men and women.  They come back to school, sometimes two weeks after they’ve had a child, and they think, study, and create beautiful works, all while raising a child.

Besides teaching English classes, I teach filmmaking.  It has been exciting to witness teenagers learning via this alternate intelligence.  I think it’s sometimes all too true that public schools crush creativity and this class has made me realize that there are an infinite number of ways that a person can manifest his/her intelligence. 

Scott Riess

Literary Place

Orford, New Hampshire – High School English

I've traveled in western Europe a fair amount but I've only been west of the Mississippi once.  Thus, I'm so excited about this opportunity!  A friend of mine lives in Missoula and has told me only great things, and of course the institute seems like it will be great!  I've just started Wind From An Enemy Sky and it's great already.

Stacey Sager

The American Dream

Stevensville, MT - English 11 and 12, AP Lit and AP Language

I’m a third-year educator at a small high school in Montana about 30 miles south of Missoula. 

Jillian VanElls

Library and Student Instructions for Library

Washington D.C. - Librarian for grades 3-6 at an all girls school

In my current incarnation I am a book pusher (aka librarian) for grades 3-6 at an all girls school outside of Washington D.C. My teaching life has led me from Akita, Japan to inner city Baltimore to Limpopo, South Africa and now to DC. I love having my perspective challenged and my assumptions dismanteled, in other words, being caught in "Oh, I never thought of it that way" moments. I am hoping/expecting this seminar to give me many such moments, and in turn, I hope to bring these moments back to my students and colleagues. Several years ago my school launched a global education initiative 3-12 and I am looking forward to adding a new indigenous facet to our program. I will also be working on the development of a potential global education trip that will bring older students in my school to eastern Montana to study the prairie ecosystem and possibly, to spend time on a reservation. My husband and I just had a baby boy last summer and I feel very fortunate that I will be able to bring the whole gang along to Missoula. We will be renting a house a few blocks from campus and I hope that our house will be host to many a gathering.