University of Montana
Faith O’Connor, of the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes, stands next to her family’s 1997 Ford F-150 looking out into her family’s 3,000-acre drought-stricken land outside Poplar, Montana. After years of living on the Fort Peck reservation, O’Connor can’t remember a time when her family had reliable access to potable water for personal use. O’Connor said her family is fortunate to have tapped into the tribe’s rural water supply system after years of battling drought and a lack of potable water. The Fort Peck reservation sits on the north-eastern tip of Montana where severe drought has become more prevalent over the years. Access to clean water has become harder due to extreme drought, particularly in Native communities such as Fort Peck and across the West where climate change continues to disproportionately affect communities of color.
Father Ed Hislop of the Spirit of Christ Mission in Missoula, Montana embraces Valeria, one of Nereyda Calero’s nieces, in the waters of the baptismal font during her baptism on April 16, 2022. Worshippers of Missoula, Montana’s Blessed Trinity Catholic Community, many of whom are from Latino descent and backgrounds, gathered on the night of April 16 as they welcomed Easter Sunday and celebrated the baptism and confirmation of Valeria. This photo was part of a series highlighting the Latino experience in Missoula, Montana. Montana is home to about 34,000 Hispanic and Latino people, according to census data.
Montana head coach Travis Decuire yells at the referees as Montana’s Derrick Carter-Hollinger, center, attempts to ease up tension during the Brawl of the Wild conference match between the Griz and Montana State at Dahlberg Arena, Feb. 27, 2022. For many, the basketball Brawl of the Wild between Montana State University and the University of Montana is the equivalent of the NBA championship.
Jonathon Nomee reacts as he looks down at his two-month old son, Jhett, who is fast asleep on a cradleboard on Nomee's lap as the pair prepares to compete at the first entry of the 53rd Kyiyo Pow Wow on April 24, 2022. Nomee, Jhett and his wife made the trip from Worley, Idaho. The 53rd Annual Kyiyo Pow Wow Celebration returned to the University of Montana campus on April 22-23 after the event took a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The celebration honored the life and advocacy work of Blackfeet Chief Earl Old Person, a nationally renowned Indigenous leader who died last year. Old Person was named honorary master of ceremonies for the powwow.
Aleena Garcia, gowned with in a white dress, stands next to her mom Sarahi as she inspects a burning candle during an Easter eve procession in Missoula, Montana on April 16, 2022. The pair are worshippers at Missoula’s Blessed Trinity Catholic Community, a local catholic church that’s a gathering point for many locals who are from Latino descent and backgrounds. The family pair gathered on the night of April 16 as they welcomed Easter Sunday with family and friends as well as celebrating the baptism and confirmation of Sarahi’s niece, Valeria Rivera. This photo was part of a series highlighting the Latino experience in Missoula, Montana. Latino and Hispanic people conform about 3% of Montana’s population.
Cole Wells, a member of the Galbreath family, reacts as he and other family members watch dash and body-cam footage of the night Galbreath died presented by county officials during a coroner’s inquest on April 29 from the altercation Aug. 12, 2021, between Brendon Galbreath, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, and Missoula Police Officer Garrett Brown. It took the Galbreath family almost a year to see footage from last summer’s incident which ended in an officer-involved shooting. After a coroner’s inquest looking into the shooting death of 21-year-old Galbreath following a high-speed police chase, a jury found on April 29, 2022 he had taken his own life. The Galbreath family expressed frustration after being denied police videos until only a day before the inquest. They also said Brendon died needlessly because police couldn’t assist him through a mental health crisis.
Nicole Bealer, a University of Montana student, helps junior Zoe Fintz, right, from New York with her 0.306 rifle marksmanship at Big Sky Practical Shooting Club. One of the many tasks Bealer has as hunt coordinator for Backcountry Hunter & Anglers is helping members like Fintz by taking them on practice shoots at gun ranges to improve their marksmanship to prepare for their first hunting trips. Bealer, a big proponent of firearm safety, believes more people need to take gun handling more seriously. At UM and across the Montana University System, the issue of guns on college campuses is becoming more of a reality, after House Bill 102 — one of the most unrestricted firearm policies in the country — passed in the Montana Legislature earlier in the spring. The bill, as it stood after its passing, would allow for anyone on any Montana University System campus to carry a gun, openly or concealed. It also would allow anyone to conceal carry without a permit anywhere someone can open carry. HB 102 overrules the University’s current policy, which holds that no one except law enforcement may carry weapons on campus, and requires students, faculty and staff who wish to bring their firearms onto campus to store them with UMPD. After the passing of HB 102, Bealer said she's concerned about the potential impacts of guns being around college campuses.
Patrick Matt Jr., a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and son of boarding school survivors, bows his head as he opens a healing circle with a prayer in both his native Pend d'Oreille dialect of Salish and English at The Spirit of Truth Church in Pablo, Montana on Sept. 29, 2021. Matt Jr. is the son of boarding school survivors. Both his father and mother were sent to the Ursuline Academy in Great Falls at a young age. He recalls his dad telling him stories about the abuses and harsh treatments he and other children received at these schools. Matt Jr. is the director of their Families First Program, which has been running for six years. As director, he is spearheading healing efforts from intergenerational trauma brought upon by boarding schools in his community.