Newly emerging stories about the contributions of minority groups reveal a neglected aspect of Montana’s heritage. These stories open a dialogue about minorities in our communities, both past and present. African American, Chinese, Japanese, and Jewish pioneers helped anchor Montana in myriad ways. Each group made lasting contributions and left significant legacies revealing a state history as diverse and as compelling as its topography. The program offers a survey of all or one of these groups, highlighting the hidden histories of each and the roles they played, and continue to play, in building our communities.
Ellen Baumler earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in English, classics, and history. She was the Montana Historical Society’s interpretive historian from 1992 until her retirement in 2018. She an award-winning author of numerous books and dozens of articles on diverse Montana topics and a 2011 recipient of the Governor’s Award for the Humanities.