MacArthur Fellows Program

Janine Pease

Educator | Class of 1994

Crow Agency, Montana
45 at time of award
Area of Focus
Education and Training
Published July 1, 1994

About Janine's Work

Janine Pease, an educator and college president, is a champion of political empowerment for Native Americans.

Pease is the former president of Little Big Horn College in Montana, one of the more than two dozen, tribally-controlled colleges in the United States.  Under her leadership, Little Big Horn College has grown from a one-room schoolhouse into an accredited two-year community college serving over 300 students, and with a library that serves over 20,000 Native Americans.  In 1986, she acted as lead plaintiff in the Crow voting rights complaint against Big Horn County; this case, a challenge to the system by which county commissioners were elected, increased the political power of Native Americans in eastern Montana.


Pease is the vice-president for American Indian Affairs at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.  She served previously as the president of Little Big Horn College (1982-2000).  Prior to her affiliation with Little Big Horn College, she served as the director of Indian Career Services at Eastern Montana College in Billings (1981-82) and as the director of adult and continuing education in of the Crow Central Education Commission (1975-79).

Pease received a B.A. (1970) from Central Washington University, and an M.Ed. (1987) and D.Ed. (1994) from Montana State University. 

Recent News

Janine Pease served as vice president for academics at Fort Peck Community College from 2008 to 2010 and as Cabinet Head for Education for the Crow Nation from 2010 to 2012. Since 2013, she has been a social science and Crow Studies faculty member at Little Big Horn College. Dr. Pease served the State of Montana on the following citizen’s boards: Presiding Officer of the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission (1999–2003), the Montana Human Rights Commission (2003–2006), and the Montana University System Board of Regents (2006–2011). She resides in Hardin, Montana, with her granddaughter Tillie and her great-granddaughter Serena.

Updated July 2015

Select News Coverage of Janine Pease
More Fellows

View All 1994 Fellows

Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.

Connect with us on social media or view all of our social media content in one place.

The privacy of your data is important to us. We've updated our privacy policies in response to General Data Protection Regulation.