Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has appointed Dr. Janine Pease (Crow) to the Board of Regents for Montana’s University System.
Pease is known for her deep commitment to Indian education, specifically higher education. She has received numerous honors for her work in developing Little Big Horn College (Crow Agency, MT) and for her supportive role in the tribal college movement.
“Tribal college presidents often serve as higher education ambassadors in both Native and non-Native communities. Few have done this better than Pease,” according to a National Indian Education Association (NIEA) press release about her appointment. “She has expressed with complete clarity to mainstream universities the unique needs of tribal students.”
One of her goals as an incoming regent is to bridge the sometimes difficult gap for Native students between tribal college graduation and access to state universities in Montana.
Costs for attending major colleges continue to rise, while federal funding, through financial aid, continues to decrease. These economic challenges pose profound challenges for Native learners. They also pose challenges to Indian sovereignty. Without a critical mass of prepared professionals, colleges cannot run vital tribal programs nor solidify the infrastructure of Indian Nations, according to NIEA.