Julie Cajune

The Rejuvenation of the Salish Language 

Julie Cajune (Salish) has been working in education for over 20 years. Her first teaching job was in a bilingual program for K-4th graders. This position inspired Julie to return to college and obtain a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in bilingual studies. She then went on to serve her tribe and worked as a curriculum specialist for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for five years. She returned to public education and worked as a school administrator for six years, serving the Ronan School District as their Director of Indian Education. During this tenure with the Ronan School district, Julie was awarded the Milken National Educator Award. Ms. Cajune has worked on culturally responsive educational materials for the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, the National Park Service, the Montana Historical Society and numerous other entities. She recently completed a three-year project developing tribal history materials funded by the Montana State Legislature. In 2009 Utne Reader named Julie as one of “50 visionaries changing your world.”  

That same year, she was awarded a $1.4 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Kellogg grant was housed at Salish Kootenai College. Grant activities focused on documenting community histories of tribes in Montana and across the country. Julie is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and a recipient of the 2011 Montana Governor’s Humanities Award. During 2012, Julie co-wrote, produced, and performed a one-woman play Belief. 

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