- Oct 24, 2018
UM Environmental Studies associate professor Rosalyn LaPier won two national book awards from the Western History Association for her book, Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet.
University of Montana Environmental Studies associate professor Rosalyn LaPier won two national book awards from the Western History Association (WHA) at their annual awards banquet in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 19 for her book, Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet.
Laurie Arnold, Director of Native American Studies at Gonzaga University and an award committee chair, stated, “The committee unanimously concluded that LaPier’s book represented everything that the Fixico Award was designed to celebrate: LaPier is an Indigenous historian and scholar; Invisible Realities is oriented from her perspectives as a community member and a scholar, and it is built from a 20-year collaboration with her grandmother and aunt. At its most essential, it’s a book about learning through story. One committee member described it as a subtle discussion of age, education and knowledge transmission. This book provides a model of what meaningful collaboration within communities and between scholars and community members can be.”
Invisible Reality won both the John C. Ewers Book Award which recognizes “the best published book” on the ethnohistory of North American Indians of Canada, Mexico or the U.S., and the Donald Fixico Book Award which recognizes “innovative work in the field of American Indian and Canadian First Nations History that centers Indigenous epistemologies and perspectives.”
Elaine Marie Nelson, Executive Director of the WHA, noted that LaPier earned the “distinction of becoming the first Native woman to receive a book award as a stand-alone author.”
Nelson stated LaPier became the “first Native woman to receive a book award from the Western History Association” when she previously won the 2016 Robert G. Athearn Book Award for City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934, co-authored by David R.M. Beck. Dr. LaPier is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet tribe and Métis.
Invisible Reality was also a finalist for the High Country Book Awards held in Billings on Oct. 20.