"Education, Leadership, Wisdom"


"Education, Leadership, Wisdom"

The Founding History of Salish Kootenai College, 1976-2010

Michael O'Donnell, Joseph McDonald, and Alice Oechsli

240 pages
55 black and white photographs


June 2018


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

“Education, Leadership, Wisdom” is an institutional history of one of the leading Native American tribal colleges. Salish Kootenai College began in 1976 as a response from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to the failure of higher education to recruit, educate, and graduate Native American students from the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana. The college opened its borrowed doors to students in winter term 1977 as a newly formed tribal college and as a branch campus of Flathead Valley Community College of Kalispell, Montana. 

By 2010 the college offered eleven bachelor’s degrees, fifteen associate degrees, and five vocational certificate programs of study to 877 full-time equivalent students. Instructional and student support services were provided by 68 full-time faculty, 53 part-time faculty, and 120 staff members. From 1980 to 2010 the college conferred 1,461 associate and bachelor’s degrees on Indian students, more than the total Indian graduates of all Montana public and private colleges and universities in the last 125 years.


Author Bio

Michael O’Donnell was the president of Salish Kootenai College, 1976–77, the vice president of academic affairs at SKC, 1978–80, and is a grant writer. Joseph McDonald was the president of Salish Kootenai College, 1977–79 and 1980–2010. Alice Oechsli was the director of student services at Salish Kootenai College, 1979–86, and associate vice president for academic affairs and academic vice president at SKC, 1993–2010.

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