June 11 – 14, 2020

Hosted by Salish Kootenai College & the University of Montana

Montana Grand Challenge Institute 2020: Innovation, Adaptation, Resilience: biocultural solutions for Climate Change

bison close up

Grand Challenge Institutes bring experts and community together around common environmental, cultural, and scientific themes to share projects and wisdom to design, collaborate, and find strength in adaptation, connection, resiliency, creativity, and honoring tradition. Modeled after our partners at the University of Hawaii Office of Sustainability’s successful three years of Grand Institutes, Tech4Good at Salish Kootenai College is honored to host this inaugural Grand Challenge institute in Montana.

This conference will serve as (1) a showcase and culmination of projects between indigenous tribes and colleges/universities from Hawaii, Alaska, California, Arizona, and Montana with support from a Keck Foundation grant administered by the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement whose partners have focused for the last three years to meaningfully connect Indigenous Knowledge with Western Science; (2) a catalyst for enhancing dialogue between Salish Kootenai College, University of Montana, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes’ Climate Change Advisory Committee, and the city of Missoula to collaborate on matters of adaptation, resiliency, innovation, and ecosystems health; and (3) an opportunity to invite as special guests key members of the other 10 tribes in Montana and their respective adjacent university/college science technology civic engagement faculty who might be interested in creating a statewide consortium for us to scale efforts to share, innovate, and adapt together.


Indigenous practices going back thousands of years integrate knowledge of local ecosystems with sustainable practices.


Every place on planet Earth is unique, each with a deep history & distinct role to play within ecosystems


The near future calls us to collaborate and connect tradition with new innovations and ideas.

Montana Grand Challenge Institute

Salish Kootenai College

University of Montana