Fort Peck Honors Long Time President

Feb 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 13-3: Sustaining Our Future, Tribal College News
By Lisa N. Perry

During the National Indian Education Association 2001 opening pow-wow in Billings, MT, in October, the Fort Peck Community College (FPCC) held a giveaway to honor longtime college president Dr. James. E. Shanley (Assiniboine).  He is a well known Indian educator across the United States.

Shanley, whose Nakoda name is “Eagle Standing By the Eagle Lodge Door,’’ was presented with an eagle feather war bonnet. The Mandaree Singers of Mandaree, ND, sang an honor song.

Shanley has been the president of Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, MT, for the past 17 years and has served as the American Indian Higher Education Consortium president for the past year. His fellow tribal college presidents re-elected him president at the October board meeting. Robert Fourstar Sr., faculty member at the college, spoke of Shanley’s numerous accomplishments. “It is good to have this opportunity to honor one of our own,” stated Fourstar. Pendleton blankets were given away to numerous Indian tribal colleges within the United States.

Fort Peck tribal dignitaries at the honoring included Arlyn Headdress, chairman of the Fort Peck Tribes and current member of the college board; Rick Kirn, Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board member and college board member; Bill Whitehead, chair of the FPCC board; and Larry Wetsit, manager of customer affairs at Nemont Telephone Cooperative in Scobey, MT, who was a past FPCC board member. Many Fort Peck Community College administrators, staff, friends and family members were also present to help honor and support Shanley.

Born in Wolf Point, MT, Shanley received his doctorate in educational administration at the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in 1989. Prior to Fort Peck, he worked in Arizona for four years as the director for the Southwest Resource and Evaluation Center in Tempe, and he was president of Standing Rock Community College (now Sitting Bull College) for five years. Shanley has published many articles relating to evaluation, welfare reform, and higher education in national publications, including the Tribal College Journal. Most recently, Shanley contributed to a book on tribal college development to be published in 2002.  His work, he said in an interview, is “challenging, satisfying, and actually improves things.”

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