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For more information, please contact us at:

Environmental Studies Program
Jeannette Rankin Hall 106A
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812-4320
Tel: (406) 243-6273
Fax: (406) 243-6090

Faculty Image Rosalyn LaPier
Office: Jeannette Rankin Hall 016
Phone: 406-243-6787


Current Position:

Faculty, Environmental Studies Program

Focus Area on Traditional Environmental Knowledge for Graduate and Undergraduate Students


Rosalyn has more than a decade of academic experience, teaching in the Native American Studies Department at UM and at a Native American controlled college in the Midwest before joining the Environmental Studies Program faculty. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection between academic and community-based knowledge, drawing on both her work in and with tribal communities and archival research. Her academic foundations are in environmental history, religious studies and physics. She has worked for 20+ years to preserve and revitalize Native American languages and Traditional Environmental Knowledge of Native and Métis peoples. Rosalyn is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana, and she is also Métis.

Office Hours:

Tuesday: 1:00 to 2:00pm

Research Interests:

Traditional Ecological/Environmental Knowledge and Ethnobotany of Native and Métis Peoples; Native American Languages;  U.S. Environmental History and Public Policy; American Indian Activism.


Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental History, University of Montana

M.A., Liberal Studies (through Religious Studies Dept.), DePaul University

B.A., Physics, Colorado College

Teaching Experience:

ENST 201 Environmental Information Resources

ENST 491 Nature and Native Americans

ENST 594 Environmental Issues of Native Americans, Spring 2014

ENST/NASX 303E Ecological Perspectives in Native American Traditions

NASX/RSTS 301 American Indian Religion and Philosophy

NASX 304E  Native American Belief and Philosophy

NASX 391  American Indian Environmental Knowledge and Ethics

NASX/PSCI 475X  Tribal Sovereignty


Environmental Protection Agency, National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, 2013-2016

State of Montana, State Historic Preservation Office, Board Member, 2007-2010, 2011-2014, appointed by Governor Brian Schweitzer, reappointed by Governor Steve Bullock

Saokio Heritage,, founder

Enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana & Métis (Red River/Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

International Experience:

Rosalyn has visited numerous Indigenous communities in Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezula and Bolivia in the past 20+ years. She served as an invited speaker within many of these communities to discuss traditional ecological knowledge and ethnobotany. Rosalyn and her family have also served as the host for many different visiting international students and fellows.


Professional Fellow, U.S. Department of State, Economic Empowerment Exchange Program for Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, Spring 2014.

Travel Award, National Science Foundation, STEM Women of Color Conclave, Spring 2012, Spring 2014

International Research Grant, International Studies, University of Montana, Summer 2013

Graduate Fellowship, The Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies, The Newberry Library, Chicago IL, 2009-2010

Travel Grant, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., Fall 2009

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., 2007

Frances C. Allen Fellow, D'Arcy McNickle Center for the History of American Indians, The Newberry Library, Chicago, 2007

Research Fellowship, Montana Committee for the Humanities, 2004-2005

Selected Publications:


Article, "Montana's Metis People," Montana Naturalist, Winter 2013/2014.

Guest Opinion Column, "Thoughts on What Makes A Place Holy," The Great Falls Tribune, October 24, 2013.

Article, "From the Natural to the Supernatural: Discovering the Piegan People's World View," Montana Naturalist, Winter 2009/2010.

Section Introduction, "Buffalo Jumps," American Indian Places, edited by Frances H. Kennedy, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

Chapter, "Métis Life Along Montana's Front Range," Beyond ... The Shadows of the Rockies: History of the Augusta Area, Augusta MT: Augusta Historical Society, 2007.

Internet, “Relationship with the Land – Seasonal Round,” Niitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta,, Spring 2006

Article, “Blackfeet Botanist: Annie Mad Plume Wall,” Montana Naturalist, Fall 2005.

Lexicon, Blackfeet Vocabulary Terms for Items of Material Culture, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 2005.


Book Manuscript, "'Determining Our Own Destiny:' American Indians in Chicago, 1893-1934,"  with David R.M. Beck, (In Press, University of Nebraska Press, expected Spring 2015).

Book Chapter, "American Indian Urbanization,” Why you can't Teach U.S. History without American Indians, with David R.M. Beck, Edited by Susan Sleeper-Smith, Juliana Barr, Jean M. O’Brien, Nancy Shoemaker, and Scott Stevens, (Accepted for publication, University of North Carolina Press, expected 2015)

Journal Article, "‘One Man Relocation Team:’ Scott Henry Peters and American Indian Migration in the 1930's," with David R.M. Beck, Western Historical Quarterly, Spring 2014.

Journal Article, "Crossroads for a Culture: American Indians in Progressive Era Chicago," with David R.M. Beck, Chicago History, Spring 2012.

Guest Opinion Column, "Native Americans in the Academy," The Missoulian, December 13, 2007.

Other Publications:


"Amskapi Pikuni," by Alice Kehoe and Clark Wissler, Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Autumn, 2013.

"Huanduj. Brugmansia," by Alistair Hay, Monika Gottschalk, and Adolfo Holguin, Economic Botany. June 2013.

"Blackfoot Redemption: A Blood Indians Story of Murder, Confinement, and Imperfect Justice," by William Farr, Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Summer 2013.

"California Indian Languages," by Victor Golla, California History, September 2012.


Native American Calling, "Renew, Reuse, Recycle -- Realistic?" November 18, 2013, featured guest.

Karl Puckett. "Woman Appointed to EPA Council: Advisory Panel Focuses on Environmental Justice," Great Falls Tribune, August 31, 2013.

Briana Wipf. "Shift to English Threatens Languages," Great Falls Tribune, June 30, 2013.

Martin Kidston. "Native American Professors Hired to Tenure-Tracked Jobs at University of Montana," The Missoulian, January 21, 2013.

Editor. "University of Montana Hires Blackfeet Professor," Glacier Reporter. October 3, 2012.

Clay Scott. Mountain West Voices. September 21, 2012.

Jessica Mayner. "Two Spirit, One Purpose," Missoula Independent. November 5, 2009.