Who We Are: The Wild Rockies Field Institute (WRFI) offers academic, field-based courses accredited through the University of Montana. Our courses take place in Montana, the Canadian Rockies, and the American Southwest, combining rigorous academic inquiry with cultural immersion and extended backcountry expeditions. Students join us from colleges and universities across North America and from a wide variety of majors. We currently offer courses in Native American Studies, Environmental Studies, Natural Resource Science & Management, Geography, and Philosophy. WRFI courses broaden the nature of a liberal arts education, teach critical thinking about environmental and social issues, and foster understanding of and respect for natural and human communities.
Job Title: We are hiring Native American Studies Instructors for our Summer 2022 Wild Rockies: Conservation Across Boundaries field semester course and our Fall 2022 field semester courses, Montana Afoot and Afloat: Human/Land Relations and Colorado Plateau: Desert Canyons and Cultures. These courses are interdisciplinary in nature and offer students a total of 12-15 upper-division (300-level) credits for their time in the field. Native American Studies Instructors will co-instruct the course with a team of three to six other instructors. Students will receive credits from the University of Montana in a variety of academic departments. Candidates may apply to teach on a single course or multiple courses.
Wild Rockies: Conservation Across Boundaries – This course will explore the Traditional Ecological Knowledge and traditional land management practices of the Séliš (Salish), QÍispe (Kalispell or Pend d’Oreille), Amskapi Piikanii (Southern Piegan or Blackfeet Nation) and Ktunaxa (Kootenai) Peoples whose homelands span the Northern Rockies and the U.S.-Canada border. The course will consider how these perspectives relate to Western concepts of ecology, conservation, and sovereignty. Students will see how Indigenous Peoples relate to and apply traditional knowledge, practices, and beliefs to contemporary North American society. Through field-based activities, meetings with Indigenous knowledge holders, and diverse readings, students will gain an understanding of regional Indigenous efforts to preserve life, language, culture, and land.
Montana Afoot and Afloat: Human/Land Relations – The course is designed to give students a grounded and contextual understanding of Native Peoples’ traditional relationships with the land in Montana, and to explore how and why those relationships have changed in relation to dynamic economic, political, ecological, and cultural factors. Students will meet with Native knowledge holders to learn firsthand about the history and current issues facing regional tribes, with a particular emphasis on sovereignty and self-determination. The class will consider Indigenous ideas and philosophies as valuable alternatives to Western thought, especially in relation to land ethics and strategies for increasing social and ecological resilience in Montana’s dynamic landscapes. As opportunities are available, students may participate in resource management and restoration projects directed by tribal members, engage with intergenerational community members including elders and young knowledge holders, and participate in culturally appropriate social ceremonies as invited by tribal members.
Colorado Plateau: Desert Canyons & Cultures – The course is designed to give students a grounded and contextual understanding of Indian Peoples’ traditional relationships with the land in the American Southwest, and to explore how and why those relationships have changed in relation to dynamic climatic, economic, political, and cultural factors. The class will meet with leaders from the Diné (Navajo) and Hopi Nations to learn firsthand about the history of and current issues facing Indigenous communities in the area, with a particular emphasis on tribal sovereignty and self-determination. As opportunities are available, students may participate in restoration and resource management projects as directed by tribal members; engage with intergenerational community members including elders and young knowledge holders; participate in culturally appropriate traditional dry farming and livestock practices; and participate in social ceremonies as invited by tribal members.
Qualifications: Candidates must have a Master’s degree or PhD in Native American or Indigenous Studies, or a related field such as Cultural Anthropology or Ethnic Studies. Hiring preference will also be given to Indigenous scholars with advanced degrees in Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Geography, or Natural Resources, who have demonstrated research interests in Traditional Ecological Knowledge and/or Indigenous resource management. Prior college-level teaching experience; a background in outdoor leadership; backpacking and/or flatwater canoeing/kayaking experience; and Wilderness First Aid or First Responder certification is also required.
Locations: Conservation Across Boundaries explores the Snowcrest Mountain Range, Yellowstone National Park, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Blackfeet Nation, Glacier National Park, and Flathead Reservation of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Montana Afoot and Afloat explores the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Big Snowy Mountains, Missouri River Breaks National Monument, Bighorn River, and the Blackfeet, Fort Belknap (A’aninin and Nakoda), and Northern Cheyenne Nations. Colorado Plateau: Desert Canyons and Cultures takes place in the Colorado Plateau region of the American Southwest on successive explorations of Horseshoe Canyon, Dirty Devil Canyon, Diné (Navajo) and Hopi Nations, Dark Canyon, and the Green River.
Dates: The six-week Conservation Across Boundaries field course runs from June 16 – July 27, 2022. The nine-week Montana Afoot and Afloat course runs from August 24 – October 25, 2022. The nine-week Colorado Plateau course runs from September 13 – November 14, 2022. Candidates for this position must be available to be in the field for at least two weeks during this time period. In addition to time in the field, the instructor will be responsible for pre-course preparation and post-course wrap-up.
Compensation: Field pay ranges from $100 to $125 per day, depending on experience. Pre- and post-course work is compensated at $15 per hour. A food stipend and travel reimbursement will be provided.
How to Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references to [email protected].
Closing Date: Open until filled