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Grant number like: EH-256812-17

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Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA 99362-2083)
Christopher William Leise (Project Director: February 2017 to March 2021)

Institutes for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$138,662 (approved)
$135,513 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2017 – 12/31/2018

The Native American West: A Case Study of the Columbia Plateau

A two-week institute for thirty college and university faculty to explore the history of the Columbia Plateau as a case study of indigenous peoples in the American West.

“The Native American West: A Case Study of the Columbia Plateau” explores diverse perspectives on the Indigenous West, the Columbia Plateau, and U.S. history. Just as Plateau peoples’ religion, subsistence practices, politics, and aesthetics were intertwined, this program will employ the interdisciplinary approach required to comprehend Indigenous experiences and perspectives on American history. Framed by scholarly historical works about Native Americans, land, religion, conflict, and ongoing tribal and personal self-determination, the Institute seeks to expand and complicate accepted U.S. history narratives about the West. To offer nuanced interpretations of the Columbia Plateau, we will draw upon both published and oral accounts by members of local Native American communities. This content will reveal spiritual and cultural practices in the eras prior to American and European immigration, and it will contextualize Indigenous and American responses to each encountering the “other.”