The Center for Regional Studies at The University of New Mexico announced the Tribal/Community College Research Scholar appointment of Milton Bluehouse Jr. for the Fall 2022 semester. Bluehouse is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and currently teaches economic development, business management, and tribal government management at Diné College in Arizona.

Bluehouse is the former deputy chief of staff for the Office of the President and Vice President of the Navajo Nation where he focused on multiple issues, including economic development, social services, public safety, natural resources, education, and community development.

Milton Bluehouse Jr.

A 2004 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School with a Juris Doctorate, Bluehouse focused on corporate and business law, federal Indian law, and constitutional law. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000 with degrees in History and Political Science with minor studies in Federal Indian Law and Judaic Studies and is now pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

CRS will help financially support Bluehouse as he utilizes UNM’s resources to develop his research project, Indigenous Cryptocurrencies and the Future of Tribal Economies. Because Native Americans have the highest poverty rate among all groups within the United States, he recognizes new approaches to tribal economic development are needed.

Bluehouse’s research project will explore the digital currency landscape, including decentralized exchanges, and the participation of tribal governments in the creation, development, and acquisition of virtual currencies as another element to economic development unhindered by federal and state regulations. An additional element to the research project is the development of class curriculum for Diné College in a course titled Introduction to Digital Currency, and Digital Currencies and Tribal Economic Development.

Manuel Montoya, Associate professor of Global Structures and International Management at the Anderson School of Management, is mentoring Bluehouse during this residency.

“Among many things, Dr. Bluehouse is exploring the much-needed relationship between sovereignty, indigeneity, and cryptocurrency. His work is providing an important context for how money shapes the economic destiny of our indigenous communities and by extension how currency amplifies the values within any economy that are often overlooked. It’s an honor to work with him,” Montoya said.

Bluehouse will share his research with UNM students and faculty, as well as the community, by giving a public lecture toward the conclusion of his residency.

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