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The University of Montana's main hall. 

The Associated Students of the University of Montana reconstituted Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day in 2015 to recognize and commemorate the contributions of Native people.

This year, UM will celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day with three days of events scheduled Monday through Wednesday. All events are free, and members of the public are invited to attend; they hosted by UM’s Student Involvement Network.

The schedule is as follows:


  • 7:30-9 a.m.: Opening prayer/song and tepee raising, UM Oval.
  • 11 a.m.-noon: Peaceful march led by Indigenous Visions Network President LaNada WarJack, from the north side of the Van Buren Street Footbridge to the UM Oval.
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Round dance, UM Oval.
  • Noon–4 p.m.: Indian taco sale, Payne Family Native American Center Bonnie HeavyRunner Gathering Place.
  • 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.: Tours, Payne Family Native American Center.
  • 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m.: Hourly Star Story showings, Payne Family Native American Center Star Gazing Room.


  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: Film screening, “Personal Reflections on Columbus Day,” Payne Family Native American Center.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Hoop dance, Bonnie HeavyRunner Gathering Place, Payne Family Native American Center.
  • 2-4 p.m.: Beading Circle, Bonnie HeavyRunner Gathering Place, Payne Family Native American Center.
  • 5-7 p.m.: Traditional dance learning session led by Naomi Billedeaux, Indigenous Dance Academy director, and Antonio Morsette, Branch Center student coordinator, Payne Family Native American Center.
  • 7-9 p.m.: Campfire stories, Payne Family Native American Center fire ring.


  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: Film screening, “Personal Reflections on Columbus Day,” Payne Family Native American Center.
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Native “Get Out the Vote” rally, Missoula County Fairgrounds, 1101 South Ave. W.
  • 4-5 p.m.: Closing ceremony and flute song, performed by Blackfeet Nation’s Troy DeRoche, Missoula Art Museum, 335 N. Pattee St.
  • 6 p.m.: “Rez Out the Vote” live performance with 1491s comedy troupe and special guest state Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, Urey Lecture Hall.

For more information on Indigenous Peoples Day at UM, call event coordinator Antonio Morsette at 243-5622 or (406) 945-0069 or email

UM offers new public health doctorate

The University of Montana has established a new doctoral program in public health.

Approved by the Montana Board of Regents during its last meeting, the new Ph.D. program will train highly qualified public health specialists. The degree will be offered by UM’s School of Public and Community Health Sciences.

“This degree capitalizes on the existing certificate and master’s level degree programs offered at UM and responds to the need for highly qualified public health specialists in the state,” said Tony Ward, chair of the School of Public and Community Health Sciences. “This program also meets the workforce needs of a public health field that is rapidly growing nationally and globally.”

He said that while the Zika virus epidemic has recently received media publicity throughout the world, populations continue to struggle with common public health issues associated with infectious diseases, climate change, overpopulation and the lack of basic resources such as clean water.

Closer to home, Montana faces many unique challenges related to the rural nature of the population. Public health issues linked to resource extraction, health disparities among the state’s Native American populations and the lack of access to basic medical services for many rural Montanans are significant local and regional public health issues.

Applications for the first class of up to five students are currently under review for entry into the program for spring semester 2017. The next cohort of up to five students will be accepted in fall 2017.

UM student wins musical competition

Michael Zarling, a pianist and University of Montana pharmacy doctorate program student, delivered a noteworthy performance at the 27th annual Francis Walton Competition in Seattle and won a tour to play throughout western Washington.

The competition, held last summer and hosted by the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, brought together 25 classical artists ages 20-35 from across the western states. Zarling became one of the four soloists to win the competition with his performance of “Poem” by Arno Babajanian and “Spanish Rhapsody” by Franz Liszt. Along with the tour, he received a $3,000 cash prize.

A Minnesota native, Zarling began piano lessons at the age of 5 and moved to Helena with his family in 2006. He continued piano in UM’s School of Music as a pre-pharmacy undergraduate at UM, studying under professors Christopher Hahn and Steven Hesla.

Zarling said even as a pharmacy student, the music professors always allowed him to participate in their recitals, concert series and national conferences.

In 2012, Zarling became the first non-music major to win UM’s Concerto/Aria Competition, and he placed in the 2009, 2013 and 2015 Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras competitions. He also recently was an alternate national finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Steinway Piano competition.

During the five-day tour in September, Zarling performed for about 3,500 K-12 students at 16 different schools and at three formal concerts throughout Washington. He was accompanied by another soloist winner, a vocalist from Los Angeles who prepared her own repertoire, along with her collaborative pianist. They also had a live radio performance broadcast by KING-FM, the classical music station in Seattle.

UM hosts clothing, supply drive for Standing Rock

The University of Montana is holding a clothing and supply drive for residents of Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota from now through Wednesday.

Accepted supplies include bottled water, firewood, gloves, hats, scarves, beading supplies, tents and food. All donations should be brought to the University Center Game Room between 9 a.m. and midnight Monday through Friday or from noon to midnight on weekends.

This is the first year for the drive, which will benefit the Oceti Sakowin and Sacred Stone camps in their fight for clean water as they prepare for the North Dakotan winter.

For more information visit the Facebook page at

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis president to lead town hall

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari will host a town hall discussion about the economy and the role of the Federal Reserve at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in the University Center North Ballroom at the University of Montana.

After opening remarks by UM President Royce Engstrom, Kashkari will ask questions about the risks big banks pose, investigate the role of the Federal Reserve and detail his major initiative to address the “Too Big to Fail” issue in the current economic climate. The discussion will be moderated by Washington Companies President and CEO Lawrence Simkins.

As president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Kashkari serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the bank’s Ninth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his responsibilities as a monetary policymaker, Kashkari oversees all operations of the bank, including supervision and regulation, and payments services. He previously worked as an aerospace engineer, served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and ran as a gubernatorial candidate in the state of California in 2014. In 2009, he received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor for distinguished service.

The town hall discussion at UM is free and open to the public, and a light reception will precede the event. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP for the event by filling out the online registration form at

For more information contact Ian Withrow, media and information coordinator with the College of Humanities and Sciences, at 243-2683 or email

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