Vice President of Academic Affairs / M.Ed. C&I – IIE Graduate Faculty
(406) 275-4952 Office: Eneas BigKnife 204
Michael M. Munson, Ed.D., st̓l̓t̓l̓am łx̣ʷix̣ʷeyuł smʔem (Séliš, Ql̓ispé, and other ancestries) attributes much of her passion for Indigenous education to her parents, yayá, and elders. Raised in a nearby urban setting, Michael felt she was the ‘white girl’ in reservation settings and the ‘Indian’ girl’ in school. ‘Indian’ girl’ at home in Missoula, she aimed to improve understanding and lessen biases between the communities in which she was a part – Sqelixʷ and non. Michael graduated from the University of Montana (UM) with a Bachelors in Elementary and a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on Indian Education and science. Upon graduating, with her Bachelors she served as a middle school teacher for approximately three and a half years. When she graduated with her master’s, Michael went on to serve communities, schools, teachers and students throughout Montana in her roles as Indian Education Implementation Specialist and American Indian Student Achievement Specialist with the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
With the Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee (SQCC) as her guide, her doctoral (Montana State University) and life work has become focused on revitalizing Séliš and Ql̓ispé education. Throughout her time with Salish Kootenai College, Michael has served as Dean of Native American Studies (NAS) and as faculty within both the Division of Education and NAS. Her heart work has been to lead and contribute to efforts in collaborative and community-requested projects aimed at reawakening our languages and cultures, and building education with our communities. One has been through the Native Language Teacher Education Program, with the current Salish Language Educator Development (NLTE-SLED) option. Another, the Culture and Language Studies (CALS) program. A third is through the Integrated Indigenous Education option of SKC’s Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Michael now serves as SKC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. Michael’s daughter, Mali Mali st̓l̓t̓l̓a sc̓iikʷs (8 y.o.) inspires both her husband and herself to work harder in their efforts guided by their shared values, goals, and beliefs.