Russell Rowland

Recent Posts

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 →

Filed under: , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , ,

‘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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , ,

Indian and white: Listening and other simple virtues

Abuse

Nobody said it was going to be easy. Billings authors Adrian Jawort and Russell Rowland took on a complex, divisive and longstanding problem when they started the Native American Race Relations and Healing Consortium last year. Their inaugural event, an all-day symposium featuring three different panel discussions, attracted nearly 75 people to the Billings Public Library in August. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Ivan Doig: Celebrating the literary heart of Montana

Authors

Ariana Paliobagis, owner of the Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, distilled the feelings of a packed house Tuesday night with one emotion-laden sentence: “I can’t talk about Ivan Doig in the past tense, because that would be like letting him go.” (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

This Veterans Day, save your thanks for the real heroes

Fulton

Every year on Veterans Day, I cringe at the knowledge that well-meaning people are going to wallpaper Facebook and Twitter with heartfelt tributes to the heroes who have served our country. I cringe because as a veteran myself, I know the truth about the average military personnel. Most of the people I met in the military were good people. They showed up and did their job. They didn’t cause problems. They were generally a pleasure to work with. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,