Russell Rowland

Recent Posts

Panelists tell of racism, talk about ways to bring change

Panel

At panel discussion about racism Tuesday night, Jerry Clark said he didn’t think about race growing up in Barbados, where he and most everyone else was of African heritage. He said he learned about racism when he moved to South Florida at the age of 15, and then more formally during his years at college. When he moved to Billings, where he works for RiverStone Health, he said, he learned about another aspect of racial prejudice. (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘Community Dialogue on Race’ set for Tuesday

Rally

Last summer, after violent confrontations broke out in Charlottesville, Va., where white supremacists gathered to protest the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, Kari Kaiser was talking to a friend who also belonged to the Billings Rises group. Billings Rises was part of Big Sky Rising, which Kaiser described as a “volunteer army of concerned citizens” who came together after the 2016 election to encourage civic engagement and activism. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Library hosts panel discussion of Montana literature

Liberry

Montana has become known for its rich history of books and writers, but how did that happen? Neighboring states like Wyoming and the Dakotas boast a handful of well-known writers, but with books and stories like “The Big Sky,” “A River Runs Through It” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” Montana established itself early on as a place that produces quality writers. Thursday night, the Billings Public Library will host a panel discussion about some of these writers and books, and panelists will bat around a few ideas of what it is about Montana that inspires such incredible literature. The discussion will start at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s Royal Johnson Community Room, led by local author Russell Rowland. The panel will also feature, High Plains Book Festival founder Corby Skinner, former Montana Poet Laureate Tami Haaland, Last Best News founder Ed Kemmick and MSU-Billings literature professor Rachel Schaffer. Continue Reading →

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Native American lecture series moving to Missoula

Meg

About two years ago, I gave a talk at the Pictograph Caves just outside Billings. Inspired by the Native American pictographs that are the main feature of the site, I focused on a subject that had become something of an obsession since I returned to Montana 10 years ago, which is the treatment of the Native Americans in our state. I grew up in Montana, but I had been gone for 25 years when I returned. I moved from San Francisco, and I was stunned to find that people still talked very openly about Native Americans as if they are all lazy, drunk and a drain on our economy. (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘All of Montana is a border town,’ civil rights panel told

Committee

A civil rights panel conducted a hearing in Billings for nearly eight hours Monday on the subject of discrimination against Native Americans, and it heard nothing more vivid than the testimony of Sarah Beaumont. For 20 minutes, punctuated by fits of sobbing, Beaumont told of working for a major company in a good union job in Billings, and of having to endure, on an almost daily basis, hateful, hurtful remarks about Native Americans. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Reasons for hope at Native American lecture series

Johnson

“When I started telling people in Amherst that I was Native American, their most common response was ‘Wow, that’s really cool!’”

This was one of the more striking statements made by Caleb Williams, who was the speaker at the most recent Native American Race Relations and Healing Lecture Series. And the striking thing about it was the expression on his face when he said it. It was clearly not the reaction he is accustomed to getting when he talks about his heritage. (more…) Continue Reading →

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