MISSOULA –Three University of Montana graduate students will depart for India on May 14 to work with Indian students and faculty on a research exchange.
The three UM students, all Native Americans, will study issues related to climate change and socioeconomic change in tribal populations in India. In the fall, three Indian graduate students will come to UM for six weeks to learn about tribal culture in Montana.The three UM students are Kim Paul of Browning, Clay Burnett of Arlee and Miranda Laber of St. Ignatius.
Paul is an enrolled member of the Amskapi Pikuni Blackfeet Tribe and also is Northern Cree and Shoshone. She is working toward her master’s in environmental chemistry, Native American studies and biomedical sciences. Burnett is a member of the Blackfeet Tribe and is earning his MBA. Laber is a first-generation descendant of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Blackfeet Nation and is studying indigenous education and film.
The United States-India Educational Foundation’s Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative funded this joint research. The grant originally was awarded to Michael Caballos, former director of UM’s Native American Research Lab. When Caballos left UM, the project was reconfigured to focus on tribal regions in the Himalaya.
UM Professor Keith Bosak of the College of Forestry and Conservation and Professor Sarah Halvorson, chair of the Department of Geography, are co-principal investigators on the grant. UM’s Native American Research Laboratory Director Aaron Thomas and faculty members Bill Holben, Kimber McKay, Uli Kamp and Derek Kellenberg also are involved.