Laurie Arnold Discusses Native American West, Columbia Plateau Oct. 25

October 10, 2018

Gonzaga News Service 
SPOKANE, Wash. — Laurie Arnold, Ph.D., Gonzaga University associate professor of history and director of the Native American Studies program, will discuss “The Native American West: A Case Study of the Columbia Plateau” at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium.

The lecture, part of the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Research & Creative Activity Forum series, is free and open to the public. Arnold, an enrolled member of the Sinixt Band of the Colville Confederated Tribes, will discuss how regional partnerships, collaborations, and public-facing engagement have fostered growth of the Native American Studies program and provided access to national platforms and institutions.

Arnold was among 25 acclaimed U.S. history experts asked by Time magazine recently to nominate a historical moment that resonates today. Read her short essay in the piece titled “The 25 Moments from American History That Matter Right Now” (published June 28 at She was also among seven Native scholars invited to contribute content to the “Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Arnold a $138,662 grant to host a Summer Institute for faculty development titled “The Native American West: A Case Study of the Columbia Plateau.” Arnold and co-director Christopher Leise, associate professor of English at Whitman College, hosted the Institute at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington in the last two weeks of June. The NEH award reinforced the importance of scholarly work and community-building happening through Gonzaga’s Native American Studies program, which is in its sixth year.

The Columbia Plateau, roughly the size of France, includes parts of British Columbia and eastern Washington, eastern Oregon as well as western portions of Idaho and Montana. Indigenous Peoples have lived on the Plateau for more than 10,000 years.

The Institute educated participants on recent developments in scholarship about the Plateau, and demonstrated how scholars can apply lessons learned about the Columbia Plateau in classes on U.S. history, Native American history, environmental history, fine arts and literature.

For more information, contact Professor Arnold at