UM Partners for First Study of Food Use, Security in Urban Indian Community

March 14, 2016

Raquel Halsey

MISSOULA – The University of Montana, together with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, is leading the first assessment of an urban, American Indian community’s food security and use of traditional food. The collaboration includes a Missoula research visit for one of the student researchers from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Tuesday through Saturday, March 15-19.

Harvard Kennedy School of Government student Raquel Halsey, a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, will meet with numerous members of the Missoula American Indian community, collecting oral histories and stories of traditional Native American food uses. She also will meet with UM faculty and staff during her Missoula visit.

Halsey and Native Nation Building classmate Sierra Dakin-Kuiper have partnered on the semesterlong project with UM environmental studies Assistant Professor Rosalyn LaPier and UM Native American Center of Excellence Program Director Wilena Old Person. The assessment aims to help provide a better understanding of both historic and contemporary traditional food uses and serve as a model to address food security issues within urban American Indian communities.

Under the guidance of LaPier and Old Person, Halsey and Dakin-Kuiper will present their findings at the Harvard University Native American Program gathering in mid-May. The final report will be made available to UM and the general public later in the summer.

For more information on the assessment or the upcoming visit, call LaPier at 406-243-6787 or email  


Contact: Rosalyn LaPier, assistant professor, UM Environmental Studies program, 406-243-6787,