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Salish Stewardship of the Land Professional Development Day

February 13, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

$100 – $120

Date: Monday, February 13

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location: Montana Natural History Center

Register here

Spend the day with Aspen and Cameron Decker gaining valuable professional and educational development in Salish culture and history. Through presentations, hands-on activities, and native games, you will practice Salish language and Plains Indian Sign language, and learn about Salish place names and tribal uses of plants.

  • Learn about Indigenous peoples’ connection to nature to create a holistic understanding of local ecosystems
  • Discuss the impact of colonialism on local Indigenous communities of Missoula
  • Learn Salish language and Salish place names to understand the relationship between land and identity within Indigenous societies, primarily Bitterroot Salish
  • Compare Indigenous and Western perceptions of inclusion and diversity
  • Formulate actions for engaging Indigenous community stakeholders


Aspen Decker is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (T̓at̓ayáqn, Ql̓isp̓é & Sqlsé) and a speaker of her tribal language, Nsélišcn “Salish language.” She graduated with a master’s degree in linguistics from the University of Montana in 2021 and earned her bachelor’s degree in Tribal Historic Preservation from Salish Kootenai College in 2018. Aspen has a Montana Class 7 Native American Language and Culture Educator License and has been teaching Salish for 10 years. Aspen’s passion for Salish language began when she was 13 years old, learning from her elder Patlik Pierre. He taught Aspen about the importance of perpetuating Salish language and culture. Raising her children in the language as first language speakers has been one of the ways that she honors his teachings.


Cameron Decker is Diné, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, and a descendant of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. He is fascinated with printmaking, painting, drawing, digital art and public arts. He served as a faculty member at Salish Kootenai College in the Fine Arts department, serving as program Chair of the department for 4 years. Cameron recently worked at the Missoula Art Museum as an Educator and Outreach Coordinator. He holds an M.A. in Fine Arts in Integrated Arts in Education (The Creative Pulse program). He will have a painting featured in an upcoming exhibition Indigenous Identity: Here, Now & Always curated by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. The exhibit will start at the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University and then travel to three other venues between Sept. 2023 – 2025. The painting is titled Place dream, tʔe t čen nspsuppsm, and is painted with natural pigments that he processed into oil paints and also drawn with drawing charcoal he made. He is now co-owner of Xʷlxʷilt together with his partner Aspen Decker who is an enrolled member of CSKT and fluent speaker of Salish language. They focus on ways to support our Montana schools and institutions with authentic, appropriate, and engaging lessons about Indigenous values, contributions and innovations.


What to Bring:

  • sack lunch
  • water/mug for coffee and tea
  • snacks
  • writing implement and journal

Cost: $100 MNHC members, $120 non-members. You can add your MNHC membership to your order when you check out. Scholarships are available! Please call 406.327.0405 to inquire.

Professional Development Credits: 5 OPI and NAI credits



What’s the refund policy?

  • The course fee is refundable if a cancellation is made up to 7 days before the event. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline. In light of changes to programming due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Montana Natural History Center will make exceptions to its normal refund policy. These exceptions are as follows:
  • Any programs cancelled by the Montana Natural History Center are eligible for a full refund.
  • In the event a program fee can be rolled over to a following cycle or year, that offer will be made available to the paying program participant, and a spot will be reserved for the participant.
  • If a program is cancelled by a participant due to reasonable health and safety concerns from exposure risk to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Montana Natural History Center will issue a full refund.
  • If any participant experiences major illness, injury, or loss of a family member prior to the start of a registered program the participant is eligible for a full refund.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Nope! We will have a list of all the attendees.


February 13, 2023
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
$100 – $120
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