native american heritage month logo
November is recognized in the United States as Native American Heritage Month

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, UT Permian Basin would like to highlight Montana Hudson. Montana is a senior majoring in history with a teaching certification for grades 7-12. She will be graduating May 2023 after she completes her student teaching.

“I chose history as a major because of my love for history. When I was a little girl, my grandfather would share his stories about different times and the war, and it made me fall in love with history. I also love being able to “time travel” when I am reading about periods throughout history.”

montana hudson headshotMontana was born in Oklahoma and spent the first few years of her life there until moving to East Texas which is where she considers home to be. Growing up, Montana lost an important link to her Choctaw heritage when her grandmother passed away in 2005. By joining Facebook groups, Montana has been able to learn the language on her own, and she’s made it her mission to learn more about the culture. She also spends time on the reservation to learn about the traditional foods and clothing. There are several recipes that have been provided to her by the Choctaw Nation that she’s started making, and she has also begun tracing her family tree to learn about her ancestors.

Montana has enjoyed learning about the different aspects about her culture. Her identity is very important to her, and she honors her culture in the best way she can.

“This means a lot to me because I do not look Native American, I am a fair-skinned blue eyed woman. I do not have the distinguishing features that many other Native Americans do. Many people don’t believe I am Native until I show them my CDIB card.”

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is a federal agency that is responsible for the administration and management of American Indian affairs in the United States. The BIA serves 574 federally recognized tribes, and it is also the agency that awards CDIB cards (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood). A CDIB card holder demonstrates that they are a direct descendant of a member of a tribal nation and obtaining this documentation is the first step to applying for tribal membership.

Montana chose UTPB because it was affordable. She explains the cost of universities around the nation continue to rise and UTPB has managed to keep their tuition rates affordable. She also appreciated the numerous online options for students like herself that must work while attending college.

Montana would like to become a history teacher to share her love for history with future students and hopefully make an impact on their lives. She tells younger students looking to go to college this piece of advice, “Never give up, it is hard but it is very rewarding.”