This will be a light posting day as I’ll be covering dedication ceremonies for the Payne Family Native American Center at the University of Montana (See below). The ceremonies begin at 8:30 Mountain Time this morning with a Coming Home walk led by children from Arlee’s Salish language revitalization school. Check Buffalo Post and Missoulian.com for updates, and follow Missoulian on Twitter for a real-time accounting of the day’s events:Crow author and historian Joe Medicine Crow, Blackfeet activist Elouise Cobell and Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be among the speakers Thursday at ceremonies marking the formal opening of the University of Montana’s Payne Family Native American Center – the first of its kind at any American university.
The day’s events, which will include many Native American traditions to honor and dedicate the new center, are open to the public and include tribal leaders and community, state and campus representatives.
“The Payne Family Native American Center underscores our commitment to serve all Montanans, not just some,” UM President George M. Dennison said. “It also places the University of Montana in a unique leadership position nationally and is a source of tremendous pride for everyone involved.”
The formal dedication ceremony will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the UM Oval directly in front of the center. Seating will be provided. The ceremony will begin with an opening convocation by Medicine Crow. Other speakers include Cobell, Schweitzer and UM Native American studies alumnus Jon Swan.
Student-led tours of the center will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. The new center will house UM’s Department of Native American Studies, American Indian Student Services and related campus programming.
The university also will host a reception for tribal dignitaries, campus partners and donors. Terry Payne, a UM alumnus and Missoula businessman, is the center’s lead donor. Other key donors include First Interstate Bank and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, a nationally recognized organization headquartered outside Minneapolis.
For a complete schedule of the day’s events, click here.
Tags: buffalo post, Elouise Cobell, First Interstate Bank, George M. Dennison, Gwen Florio, Indian Land Tenure Foundation, Joe Medicine Crow, Jon Swan, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Native American news, Payne Family Native American Center, Terry Payne, University of Montana