Montana American Indian Student Scholars

The Commissioner sought liaisons in each of the MUS campuses to identify currently enrolled American Indian students for a unique pilot designed to provide support for American Indian students and their families. Each of the MUS and Community College campuses submitted names for program liaisons.

2016-17 Scholars:

University of Montana

UM Scholar  

Oki, I’m Katelyn Barcus. I’m Amskapii Pikuni (Blackfeet) tribal member born and raised in Browning MT. After attending Blackfeet Community College, I decided to continue my education at the University of Montana originally in the pursuit of a Business degree. Five and a half years, a semester off, and about four major changes later, I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies with a minor in Communication Studies this upcoming Spring of 2017. During the summers I go home to enjoy my vacation working near Glacier to spend time with friends and family. 

UM Scholar  

Ya’teeh, My name is Sammie Bia, I am of the start of the red streak people clan born for the salt people clan, my paternal grandfathers are red paint under the cheek clan and maternal grandfathers are the salt people. I am from a rural community located on the Navajo reservation in Northeastern Arizona, called Many Farms. I am a pre-pharmacy major, with hopes of entering in the fall of 2017.

UM Scholar  

Oki Niisto Nitaniiko Marty Meineke. I was born and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning Montana. I'm currently a senior here at the University of Montana studying Comminity Health with a minor in Global Public Health. I began my college career at MSU Bozmen studying PreMed. I transferred to UM to peruse my new major and have no regrets about switching to the winning team. I've always had a passion for helping people and love that my major points me in a direction that allows me to do so.  On campus I'm involved in a few student groups including: American Indian Business Leaders as the VP of Fundraising, Peers Reaching Out as a Certified Peer Health Educator and the AISS Mentorship program.  I'm excited for this new opportunity as a mentor and know that we're going to have a great year!

UM Scholar  

Amba Waste, My Name is Alyse Beauchamp. I am Assiniboine from Fort Peck, MT. I am in my third year as an nontraditional student. I major in Psychology with a minor in Addiction Counseling. Missoula has been my home for 16 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am a wife, mother, student and a Peer Mentor for American Indian Student Services. I am also involved culturally in our community as well as with our public schools. I love to spend time with family, cooking, and watching football. 

UM Scholar  

Oki, I'm from Browning MT and am a member of both the Blackfeet and Gross Venture Nations. I am a junior at the University of Montana studying Environmental studies and Philosophy. My passion is environmental sustainability, and helping others. I feel that life is full of adventure and we need to just capitalize on that and live life to the fullest. Empowering my peers and youth is something I feel is paramount, because I am continuously empowered by them as well. I'm looking forward to being a peer mentor because I feel that I could combine my passions and promote them amongst others, while encouraging mentees to do the same.

Montana State University-Bozeman

Dawson Demontiney  

My name is Dawson Demontiney and I am from Rocky Boy, Montana. I am a junior in civil-engineering curriculum. I enjoy being involved in college events. I want to become an engineer because, I would ultimately like to help improve our Native People’s way of life. One thing we lack is, engineers in our community. My goal is to become a prominent engineer in our Native Communities.

Connie Brownotter  
Connie Brownotter is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Connie graduated from Phillips Academy in 2014 and is a Gates Millennium Scholar. She is currently a sophomore majoring in Community Health and minoring in Native American Studies and Sociology. Connie wants to attend graduate school someday and plans to return to the Standing Rock Reservation to work with and for her people. She is passionate about working with individuals within her community to improve the quality of life for all of the members of her tribe. She is particularly interested in helping youth combat suicide, substance addiction, and mental health disorders.
MarenaMahto   My name is Marena Mahto, an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota. I am an enrolled MSU student, pursuing a degree in paleontology and a minor in Native American Studies. As a college student, I do like to help out other students with getting their post secondary "ducks in a row" (in the words of my professor from my Crazy Horse Internship) and how to best go about that.

Great Falls College

Paula Harwood  

Paula Harwood is from the Blackfeet Tribe and is an enrolled member. She has been attending Great Falls College for five years off and on. She previously attended college in Arizona for Physical Therapy and is now studying to be a physician assistant and will later transfer to Park College to finish her Bachelor’s degree.  As a hobby, she mentors Native Americans in the community as well as her four children in their tradition and culture.

Rainy Allen  

Rainy Allen is from Seattle Washington. She grew up in the traditions of the Chippewa Cree tribe. She has been attending Great Falls College for almost a year. She is pursuing an associate degree in Arts with a focus in Psychology.  She is currently the Vice-President of the Native American Student Group. As a hobby she likes helping others and watching movies.

Alger Swingley  

Alger Swingley was born in the town of Browning on the Blackfeet Reservation. He and his family later moved to Helena, Montana. From his friends who are guides and outfitters, Alger quickly absorbed as much local knowledge as he could. Alger now puts his acquired expertise to use in his own business at Blackfeet Outfitters. His personal travels and business experience have culminated to him achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a professional hunting and fishing guide and outfitter.  Fall 2016 is his first semester at Great Falls College. He is also a member of the Native American Student Group.

Savannah Yeager  

I’m Savannah Yeager, I grew up in Conrad MT and I am 23 years old. I came to GFCMSU in 2012 to get a degree in Psychology or Social Work, but changed my mind. I will graduate in May 2017 with an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting. I was raised to appreciate my Native American heritage and am privileged to be part of the Native American Student Group.

Leni Yeager  

Leni Yeager is from Conrad, but loves living in Great Falls and attending GFCMSU. My goal is to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. I am proud to be a part of the Native American Student Group and the American Indian Scholar’s program.  She hopes that the work that they do will be an encouragement to Native American students, and will have a positive impact that will last for future generations of students.

Missoula College

Dylan Rogness  

Dylan Rogness grew up in Helena, MT and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Community Health.  Though Dylan’s main role at Missoula College is Healthcare Transformation Specialist for the TAACCCT-IV “HealthCARE Montana” grant, he is glad to be a part of the Missoula College Academic Advising team as a Pre-Nursing Advisor.  On the side, he is an avid fly fisherman, outdoors enthusiast, and recreational musician. 

Melissa Running Crane

My name is Melissa Running Crane-Augare. I am an enrolled member from the Blackfeet Reservation.  While at the Blackfeet Community College I was studying Pre-Nursing and General Math and Science. I then took a few years off from school due to having a family. I have two children:  My oldest is 9, who is Madison Augare and my youngest is 7, who is Matthew Augare. They both are also enrolled members of the Blackfeet Reservation and are both students at Lewis and Clark Elementary here in Missoula, Montana. I am now attending the Missoula College and studying Accounting Technology. I was nominated by my advisor Lisa Swallow and was chosen to be a mentor for the American Indian Mentor Program at Missoula College.

Tammy Freimund  

Tammy Freimund
Missoula College Academic Advising Center

Tammy Freimund has over thirty years’ professional experience providing social and educational services. Her Masters of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota included research focused on methods for effectively integrating students of varying abilities into education programs. During Tammy's career, she has served as administrator, social worker, educator, and counselor.

For the past 18 years, Tammy has both instructed and developed programs in the field of education. Now, as Director of the Academic Advising Center, she carries on her passion for supporting diversity and student success.

City College - MSU Billings

My name is Martha Beaumont, I am a student at Montana State University-Billings, City College.  While I have many of the same challenges as any other student, I am a twenty-five-year-old mother of a 5-year-old son with disabilities. I am a hardworking, disciplined person who has a vision of self-improvement through education. I am an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe. On campus I serve as an Outreach/Advocate for Native American students. This semester I also work as a Medical Terminology Tutor in-class, online, and in the Academic Support Center. It is my goal to help fellow students be successful in school and in their everyday life.  

My name is Telsa Madden and I am originally from Wolf Point, Mt, but reside in Billings, Mt. I am currently student at the City College of Billings pursuing my Associates Degree in Welding & Metal Fabrication. In my spare time I work at the Academic Support Center, also known as the ASC, as a Front Desk & Peer Mentor.

Before I decided to go to the Welding Program I was a Bachelors of Fine Arts Major, so as you can tell that my hobbies entail Arts and Crafts, however, I also like to dance, being outdoors, and go to family functions.

The University of Montana Western

Augustina Wofford   Augustina Wofford is a sophomore at the University of Montana Western. She is double majoring in Visual Art and Psychology, with the plan of becoming an art therapist. She chose to become a Native American mentor to help others, and for a chance to use what she has been learning in her psychology classes."

Flathead Valley Community College

Adelaid Boeck

Ta'c meeyi, my name is Adelaide Boeck. I am an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe, a direct descendent of Chief Joseph, daughter of Chief Levi McCormack. We originated in the Wallows of Oregon and reside on the Lapwai Indian Reservation in Idaho. I attend Flathead Valley Community College for preparation of the Surgical Technologist Program in fall of 2017.  I have over twenty years of experience in emergency medicine, fire, security, and hazardous materials response.  I currently serve two Judges appointed positions at the Flathead Valley District Court.  I am the Native American Representative on the Youth Placement Committee for Youth Court, and am on the Foster Care Placement Review Committee for Child Protective Services.  I plan to one day attend Rocky Mountain College to graduate as a Physician Assistant and return home to provide health and wellness care for the ongoing health needs of Native Americans.  During my summers I visit my brother in Joseph, Oregon and attend his Longhouse Ceremony and my sister in Pendleton to help in her restaurant (during Round-Up days).  We celebrate our family reunion at our lake cabin on Spirit Lake in Idaho.  This is important to me because we are one of the last families of Chief Joseph and keeping our connections are what will help to pass down our traditions and heritage. I am grateful for this opportunity as a Montana American Indian Scholar and am looking forward to tackling any challenges ahead.  Qe'ti'yewyew'


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