Rosalyn LaPier, an award-winning indigenous writer, ethnobotanist and environmental historian from the University of Montana, will give the third talk in the Center for Western Lands and Peoples’ Perspectives on the American West Lecture Series on Nov. 6.
LaPier’s lecture, “From Prairies to the Atomic Age: Family and Farming on the Blackfeet Reservation” is set for 6 p.m. at the Museum of the Rockies’ Hager Auditorium and is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception in the museum’s lobby. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
LaPier will discuss the U.S. government’s attempt to turn the Blackfeet into farmers and ranchers after bison were decimated on the Northern Plains. Aimsback, a traditional spiritual leader in 1921, became a farmer and community leader during the era. His and his family’s story during the U.S. government’s “Five Year Industrial Program,” a system that organized communities under the auspices of the “Piegan Farming and Livestock Association,” reflect the changing world of the Blackfeet from the prairies to the Atomic Age in Montana.
LaPier, who is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Métis, is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences at the University of Montana. She studies the intersection of traditional ecological knowledge learned from elders and the academic study of environmental and religious history. Her latest book, “Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet,” was published earlier this year. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College and a doctorate in history from the University of Montana.
As an activist, her longtime passions include environmental justice on indigenous lands and the revitalization of indigenous languages. This year, she was one of the organizers of the March for Science held April 22, the largest day of science advocacy in history, with more than 1 million participants in 600 cities worldwide.
The American West Lecture Series features experts from around the country discussing the history, literature and culture of the West; issues affecting the wildlife and fisheries of the region; and the West’s geography, geology and resources. The series is co-sponsored by MSU’s College of Arts and Architectureand the Burton K. Wheeler Center and is a program of the Center for Western Lands and Peoples, an interdisciplinary research center within the MSU College of Letters and Science that is focused on the places and peoples of the Western United States and Canada.
For more information, go to: http://calendar.msu.montana.edu/events/22906