Buffalo and her Calf near St. Ignatius, Montana - 1991

Rodney Frey

Professor Emeritus of Ethnography

cell: 1-208-596-6476
e-mail: rfrey@uidaho.edu departmental Profile

Welcome to my home page. I have provided some information helpful for my students and anyone who may share in common interests. Feel free to contact me. As I am periodically updating information and adding new links to this page, please re-visit at any time.

To access my course syllabi: 

Spring Semester 2020 Fall Semester 2020
  • A new chapter unfolds.

Other courses previously taught and links:


First DeSmet Graduates - Bachelor's Degree in Business Management - 1997 - Vicki Abraham, Megan Harding, Brenda Abraham, John Abraham, and myself

Let me offer a little about who I am and my professional interests. I came to the University of Idaho in the Fall of 1998, having received a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Colorado in 1979. I taught at Carroll College in Helena, Montana from 1980 to 1986, and Lewis-Clark State College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho from 1987 to 1998, where I also served as Director for the college's north Idaho programs.  While with LCSC and working closely with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe that I was involved in helping establish and coordinate the DeSmet Higher Education Program, a successful college outreach center on the reservation.   For curriculum vita.

On the side, love a little fly fishing in the nearby rivers and lakes, and model railroading (view a short video from Trackside Model Railroading, November 2018, of my HOn3 diorama).

While there are many who have contributed to my education and whom I am so indebted, I offer sincere appreciation to my primary teachers --  Tom Yellowtail, Crow elder, who infused spirit into humanity and the world;  Joseph Epes Brown , Scholar of American Indian Religions, who infused humanity and spirit into scholarship;  Deward Walker, Scholar of American Indian Peoples, who brought scholarship into the service of others; Lawrence Aripa, Coeur'Alene elder, who brought Coyote's spirit and laughter into it all; and my "elder brothers and sisters," Alvin Howe, Cliff SiJohnRob and Rose Moran, and Rayburn and Janet Beck who have been my indispensable guides throughout the entire journey.   I also wish to thank several of my Coeur d'Alene teachers, Felix Aripa, Mariane Hurley, and Alfred Nomee, as well as my Nez Perce teachers, Josiah and D'Lisa Pinkham, Vera Sonneck, Ann McCormack, Mari Watters, and Nakia Williamson.  Aho!

I have been conducting various collaborative and applied projects with the Crow (Montana), the Coeur d'Alene (Idaho),  the Nez Perce (Idaho), and the Warm Springs  and Wasco Tribes (Oregon).   Among our concerns has been the role and the significance of the oral traditions, particularly as those traditions influence a people's relationships with  their "landscape" and mediate the impact of Euro-American changes.  As collaborative projects, I am also concerned about such ethical issues as developing cultural property rights and appropriate tribal review processes as part of the research.  For discussion on some of these issues and examples of my research and activities, see:

Awards and Honors:

Upon re-telling the last of a series of his most cherished stories from the Buffalo Days (which appear in Stories That Make the World), Tom Yellowtail turned to me and shared the following words that have resonated with me ever since.

"If all these great stories were told, great stories will come!" 

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