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Arts & Culture

Race Relations Lecture Series Unites Natives, Non-Natives

Community members have been gathering monthly at the Billings Public Library to discuss and reflect on Native American issues.

This month's lecture was by Aubrey Bertram, staff attorney for the Indian Law Practice group of the Montana Legal Services Association.

"I think it's so important to understand our context and to understand our history," said Bertram. "You can't meaningfully function and you can't really engage with present society if you don't understand how we got to where we are in the first place."

Credit (Photo by Lyman Gillen)
About three-dozen folks gathered for Bertram's lecture on Federal Indian Law on Mar. 9, 2017 at the Billings Public Library.

Bertram chose to focus on Federal Indian Law while in law school because she felt let down by her formative education within the public school system.

"I grew up in Colorado, I grew up in Denver. And I didn't even know we had reservations in Colorado," said Bertram.

The last time she had learned about "Native-American-any​thing" was fifth grade.

"I also felt a really big sense of personal... I don't want to say shame or guilt, just thatI should've sought this out on my own," said Bertram.

Bertram invites you to seek this information on your own, too. You can follow this link to browse through the Powerpoint Presentation she used to guide her lecture earlier this month.

The Native American Race Relations & Healing Lecture Series heads to Missoula April 1.