SKC Offers Degree in Tribal Historic Preservation

May 15th, 2012 | By | Category: 23-4: Investing in Education, Empowering Tribal Communities, Tribal College News

ARTICULATING PRESERVATION. Francis Auld (Kootenai), Co-Director of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe’s Historic Preservation Department (right), explains the mission of his office to SKC students Melanie Manuel (Kootenai) and T.J. Teegarden (Salish) during an Introduction to Tribal Heritage Preservation class.

Salish Kootenai College (SKC, Pablo, MT) is proud to announce a new academic major in tribal historic preservation, the first of its kind in the United States. Funding for the program comes from a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant; the program is also part of the NEH We the People Initiative. The program will offer associate and bachelor’s degrees designed to prepare graduates to work in tribal historic preservation offices, tribal cultural departments, museums, cultural resource managements firms, and state and federal agencies. The tribal historic preservation program at SKC has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Under the direction of Jeff Bendremer, Ph.D., the program will begin enrolling students in September 2012.

Developed in consultation with the Tribal Historic Preservation Advisory Committee—which includes representatives from tribal government, the federal government, academia, and professional organizations—the curriculum is grounded in Native American studies, history, anthropology, natural resources, museum studies, and Native language studies. The program will provide students with rigorous technical training, academic preparation, and field experience in cultural resources management, tribal approaches to historic preservation, and practical skills oriented toward the goals and interests of Indian communities and tribal governments. The principle goal of the program will be to train resourceful, sensitive, multidisciplinary cultural resource management personnel, while promoting the involvement of tribal people and governments in historic preservation.

The program will respect tribal sovereignty and value Indigenous ways of knowing, oral tradition, and Native cultures. It will also play an important part in continuing conversations among Native peoples, museums, and archaeologists; provide an intellectual and academic home for Native preservationists; and become a template for curricula across the country and world. Additionally, the program will provide a forum for SKC students, faculty, and staff, as well as neighboring Native communities, to shape the discourse on tribal historic preservation and the direction of cultural resource management and archaeological research in the 21st century.

For more information about SKC’s Tribal Historic Preservation major, contact Professor Jeff Bendremer at or (404) 275-4746.

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