Meet the First Native American to Win Prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown February 14th, 2017 Last Updated on: May 27th, 2019

Congratulations to Mr. Montana Wilson! As reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Wilson has become the first Native American to ever win the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study in England. An amazing accomplishment since only thirty-six students were chosen for a scholarship this year, out of what I am sure were thousands of applications.

The scholarship was instituted in 2000 by Bill and Melinda Gates and is similar to the Rhodes Scholarship, but recipients attend Cambridge rather than Oxford. Recipients are selected based on intellectual ability, leadership potential, their commitment to improving the lives of others and how well the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations match up with the programs at Cambridge.

Wilson is a senior in the Honors College with dual degrees in economics and political science and a minor in Native American studies. He also previously won a Udall Scholarship in Tribal Public Policy.

And here's a little bit more on Wilson from the Gates Cambridge website:

Montana Duke Wilson is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and is descendent of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Prior to receiving his bachelor degrees, Wilson held commissions as a criminal prosecutor and public defender for the Fort Peck Tribes. Wilson’s undergraduate education is a BA in Political Science, a BS in Economics, and a minor in Native American Studies from Montana State University. Wilson’s education focuses on governing institutions, most notably tribal governments, and how an individual’s decision affects economic development policies. During his undergraduate career, Wilson served as a peer instructor for NASX 497: Study in Federal Indian Law & Policy for the MSU Department of Native American Studies. Furthermore, Wilson served as a research assistant and peer instructor for ECNS 105: The Study in the Economic Way of Thinking and ECNS 206: The Study in the Principles of Macroeconomics for the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics. In 2016, Wilson was awarded the national Udall Scholarship in the field of tribal public policy for his work on tribal economic development. While at the University of Cambridge, Wilson will pursue an MPhil in Development Studies. Upon the success completion of his MPhil, Wilson plans to return to his reservation to pursue a career in economic development for his tribes.

What a great role model for all you young students out there!

For more information on the scholarship, please visit https://www.gatescambridge.org/.

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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