UVU professor contributes to tribal book

Professor of History David R. Wilson recently contributed to a book about the history of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe of southeastern Mont.

The book, “We, The Northern Cheyenne People: Our Land, Our History, Our Culture,” was made possible by a grant from the office of the governor of the state of Mont. in conjunction with Montana’s Indian Education for All Initiative. These two sources provided funds to each of the state’s seven reservations to prepare and publish material on their respective histories and cultures.

“I felt honored, beyond honored, almost emotionally overcome, to have been asked to participate,” said Wilson regarding his involvement.

Wilson personally contributed two chapters on agricultural and energy resource development and assisted with the research on several other parts of the book. He became involved with the project because of close ties he has with Chief Dull Knife College, in Lam Deer, Mont. Being an administrator and instructor there in the late ’80s, Wilson regards the college as his intellectual home.

“I have worked with Chief Dull Knife College since 1986 and have always tried to contribute to the college’s ability to provide the Northern Cheyenne community with post-secondary education in a culturally appropriate way,” said Wilson.

To ensure a distinctively Cheyenne perspective, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe published the book through its own college.

“I have always supported the goal of Indian self-determination, which includes natives writing their own histories, so I had some serious feelings about participating in the project at first,” said Wilson. “But we developed a working group relationship based upon friendship and sharing and respect.”

Wilson is currently the chair of the UVU American Indian Studies Program, an academic minor within the Committee of Interdisciplinary Studies, and teaches American Indian and United States history in the Department of History and Political Science.

The book is available at the Chief Dull Knife College bookstore, PO Box 98, Lame Deer, Mont., 59043.

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