MISSOULA – University of Montana environmental studies Associate Professor Rosalyn LaPier won two national book awards from the Western History Association at its annual awards banquet Oct. 19 in San Antonio, Texas.
LaPier earned the John C. Ewers Book Award and the Donald Fixico Book Award for “Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet,” published by University of Nebraska Press.
The John C. Ewers Book Award recognizes “the best published book” on the ethnohistory of North American Indians of Canada, Mexico or the U.S. The Donald Fixico Book Award recognizes “innovative work in the field of American Indian and Canadian First Nations History that centers Indigenous epistemologies and perspectives.”
Laurie Arnold, director of Native American studies at Gonzaga University and an award committee chair, said LaPier’s “Invisible Reality” is a “model of what meaningful collaboration between scholars and community members can be.”
Elaine Marie Nelson, executive director of the Western History Association, said LaPier earned the “distinction of becoming the first Native woman to receive a book award as a stand-alone author.”
LaPier became the first Native woman to receive a book award from the Western History Association for a book she co-wrote when she won the 2016 Robert G. Athearn Book Award for “City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934.” She co-authored the book with David R.M. Beck. LaPier is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet tribe and Métis.
“Invisible Reality” also was a finalist for the High Country Book Awards held Oct. 20 in Billings.
UM environmental studies alumna Monika Bilka also won best scholarly article of the year on Native American history at the conference. Her article focused on tribal treaty rights for the Klamath Tribe of Oregon.