Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology

The Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology program is designed to prepare graduates to become effective caretakers and stewards of the place they call home – the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and the surrounding prairies, river bottoms, and island mountain ranges of northcentral Montana. The program employs classroom, laboratory, and field-based instruction, as well as internship placements and undergraduate research experiences, to focus student learning on the dynamic web of interconnections that exist between the Aaniinen and Nakoda nations and their ancestral homelands. Embedded in the lifeways, histories, and identities of the Aaniinen and Nakoda, the program offers students a culture-, place- and community-based approach to learning eco-logy (from the Greek words oikos-logos), literally understood as “the way of the home place.”

Student Outcomes

  • Understand the ethical, cross-cultural, and historical context as they influence contemporary environmental issues and the links between human and natural systems.
  • Reflect critically about the roles and identities of indigenous citizens and environmental stewards in their ancestral lands and in connection with the natural world.
  • Demonstrate an understanding in the field of environmental health that incorporates the conception of
    Aaniiih and Nakoda wellness and disease as it relates to public health.
  • Use appropriate technology, methodology, and Aaniiih and Nakoda epistemologies to investigate and evaluate the various components (e.g., aquatic, geologic, atmospheric, terrestrial, and living) of the natural world.
  • Articulate the Aaniiih and Nakoda values and indigenous scientific process through the application of traditional ecological knowledge and research.
  • Understand and demonstrate knowledge of Tribal, State, and Federal regulations.
  • Practice appropriate cultural etiquette.
  • Apply the knowledge of major laws and policies and cultural etiquette to contemporary local issues.
  • Demonstrate analytical skills and the ability to apply quantitative reasoning, traditional ecological knowledge, and appropriate mathematical and statistical methods to analyze scientific data to investigate or explain phenomena in the natural world.
  • Design and implement a place-based research project addressing community needs or concerns.
  • Synthesize, communicate, and present research findings to all stakeholders.

Career Opportunities

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Program Electives

  • Introduction to Soils (NRS 110)
  • Microbiology (BIOM 250)
  • Introduction to GIS/GPS (NRS 210)
  • Restoration Ecology (NRS 225/425)
  • Range Management (NRS 200/300)
  • Tribal Government II & Codes (AIS 330)
  • Conservation Biology (ANE 470)
  • Hydrology of Fort Belknap Reservation Water Resources (ANE 365)


Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Fall Semester (First Year)

BIOB160 & L160Principles of Living Systems &
ANE 101Introduction to Aaniiih Nakoda
WRIT 101College Writing I3
BIOB 101Thematic First-Year Seminar (Milk River Watershed)3
AIS150 or 155Aaniiih or Nakoda Language3
GS 110Finding Place1
Semester Total17

Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Spring Semester (First Year)

M 121College Algebra4
HUM 101 or FAIntroduction to Humanities/Fine Arts3
ENSC110 & L110 Environmental Science & Lab4
Semester Total14

Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Fall Semester (Second Year)

AIS 100Introduction to American Indian Studies3
GEOL110 & L110Physical Geology & Lab4
CHMY141 & L141College Chemistry & Lab I4
WRIT 201College Writing II3
Semester Total14

Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Spring Semester (Second Year)

PSYX 100Introduction to Psychology3
CHMY143 & L143Chemistry II & Lab4
COMX111 or 115Public Speaking/Interpersonal Communications3
STAT 216Introduction to Statistics3
BIOO 120Ethnobotany & Traditional Plants3
Semester Total16
AS Degree in Environmental Science Total61

Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Fall Semester (Third Year)

ANE305 & L305ʔisítaaʔ/Péda (Fire) & Lab4
AIS 200/300American Indian Philosophy and Religion3
BIOE 270 & L270/370 & L370 General Ecology & Lab4
AIS 235/335Federal Indian Law3
Semester Total14

Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Spring Semester (Third Year)

ANE 310 & L310Nicʔ/Mní (Water) & Lab 4
PHIL 301Land Ethics3
STAT 325Biostatistics3
ANE 380Nii tsin ah hiiit/Woksabe (Balance: Ecological Health) 3
ANE 395Research Methods on Tribal Lands3
Semester Total16

Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Fall Semester (Fourth Year)

ANE 315 & L315 Biitoʔ/Maká (Earth) & Lab4
ANE 350 & L350Biiθ otoʔ/Jyahe widá (Little Rocky Mountains/ Fur Cap/Island Mountains) & Lab4
ANE 450Land and Water Policy3
3XX or 4XXProgram Elective3
ANE 480Internship3
Semester Total17

Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology: Spring Semester (Fourth Year)

ANE320 & L320 ‘Ɔ́nɔ’/Mahpíya (Sky) & Lab4
ANE360 & L360’Akisiníícááh/Wakpá Juk’án (Milk River/Little River) & Lab 4
ANE 499Senior Research Project3
ANE 405 Living for the Seven Generations (Sustainability)3
3XX or 4XXProgram Elective3
Semester Total17
BS Degree in Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology Total125
NOTE: If placement test scores indicate refresher classes are needed, the student’s program will require more than two years to complete. It is imperative that students work closely with their advisors.