Ruth Ann Swaney
Ruth Ann Swaney (Night Wind Woman) is Hidatsa, Dakota, and Nakota and is a member of the Alkali Lodge Clan. She earned her Associate’s degree in Environmental Science from the Nueta, Hidatsa, Sahnish College. She followed in many of her family members’ footsteps by earning a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. With those degrees she worked in public schools on her reservation as a classroom instructor and cultural curriculum developer. She also was the Natural Resource Program Coordinator for her tribal college where she taught and supervised research. She moved to Montana and continued her work in Indian education at a tribal college and with a reservation school district. Then she moved with her mother and sons to western Montana where she earned her Master’s degree in Organismal Biology and Ecology and her PhD in Forestry and Conservation Sciences. She currently works at the University of Montana as the Native American Natural Resource Program Coordinator and for the City of Missoula as the first female Native American Alderwoman. She is passionate about Indian education, taking care of our Mother Earth and all our relatives, and making sure our Native people continue to survive and thrive.