Dawson Community College Hosting a Showing of "Native Ball: Legacy of a Trailblazer" Documentary

Dawson Community College (DCC) is hosting an exciting event at the Toepke Auditorium on Thursday, November 16, from 6pm – 7pm MST. Members of the Glendive community and surrounding areas are welcome to attend at no cost. The evening will begin with a showing of the "Native Ball: Legacy of a Trailblazer" documentary, presented by Family Theater Productions. Following the documentary, which is 27 minutes in length, there will be a discussion panel answering questions centered around community, overcoming adversity, courage, and leaving a legacy.

The filmmakers for "Native Ball: Legacy of a Trailblazer" provided a brief summary of this documentary, “Annually, nearly 5,000 high school girls’ basketball players earn a full-ride Division I scholarship. In 1992, only one was Native American: Blackfeet Nation’s Malia Kipp. Living in two worlds presented challenges and so did the pressure to succeed as a University of Montana Lady Griz. Through the support of her family and community, she carried the burden with resilience, grace, and grit. Described by her Chief as “a warrior,” she blazed a trail – and heroic legacy – for other Native girls to follow.”

The focus of this documentary is Barbara “Malia” Kipp who was born and raised on the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana. She is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, as well as an Oneida and Norwegian descendent. Kipp graduated with honors from Browning High School in 1992, lettering in three sports all four years, earning athletic records still standing today. She made history by becoming the first female tribal member in Montana to earn a full-ride scholarship to play Division I college basketball. Her tenure as a University of Montana Lady Griz, under legendary coach Robin Selvig, paved the way for another record-breaking moment … her induction into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame as its first female member. Today, Kipp is a mother of four children and has been a Registered Nurse for 22 years. She has been inspired by words spoken and lived by her Grandma Kipp, “No one said life would be easy, just know that it will be worth it.”

DCC is very pleased to have four esteemed panel members. Some of the panel will be in attendance and others joining virtually.

  • Coach Robin Selvig. Originally from Northeast Montana (Outlook, Sheridan County), Selvig was the former head coach of the Lady Griz women's basketball team at the University of Montana for 38 seasons (from 1978-2016). He finished his career ranked eighth among all women's basketball coaches in victories with 865. He is 15-time Big Sky Coach of the Year recipient and the Lady Griz won 65-straight contests against Big Sky opponents and six NCAA Tournament games under Selvig’s reign. Article about Coach Selvig’s career.
  • Mike Chavez (Crow and Northern Cheyenne). Chavez attended high school at Heart Butte and Browning where he helped his basketball team win three state championships. He also played ball for the Griz from 2003-2007 and graduated from the University of Montana. Currently, Chavez works as an ISS Paraprofessional at Hardin Middle School in Hardin, MT. Article about Mike Chavez being honored.
  • Ryan Wetzel (Blackfeet). Wetzel played basketball at Northwest College in Powell, WY and at Montana State University Billings (MSUB), a NCAA Div. II program. Following college, he played professionally overseas and is a Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee (2018). Currently, Wetzel is a motivational speaker with his company Actions Speak Louder and is the Director of Operations at Sapphire Community Health, in Hamilton, MT. About Ryan Wetzel.
  • Nakola “Kola” Bad Bear (Crow). Bad Bear is originally from Pryor, MT, and moved to Billings, MT during high school. She graduated from Billings Senior High School and went on to play at Montana State University (MSU) for three years before transferring to Montana State University Billings (MSUB) for her final year of college (2023-2024 season). Bad Bear graduated from MSU this spring, having majored in community health with a minor in human development. She plans to take classes at MSUB that will allow her to apply for occupational therapy school after the season. Bad Bear is a strong advocate for Native American culture and MMIW. Article about Kola Bad Bear.

DCC also would like to recognize the efforts of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee in organizing this event and the following DCC sponsors: Associated Student Body (ASB) and Indigenous Culture Club.

For more information about this event, please contact Gina Roos at

For more information on "Native Ball: Legacy of a Trailblazer," please visit On their website, you can watch a trailer, view pictures of Malia Kipp and read her full biography, and learn more about the directors, Megan Harrington, and Jonathan Cipiti, behind this documentary.

About Dawson Community College

Located on 300 acres in Glendive, MT, Dawson Community College (DCC) is a comprehensive academic community committed to providing affordable and open access to quality teaching and learning. Founded in 1940, Dawson Community College offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees that prepare learners for transition to and success in further degree programs. Associate of Applied Science degrees prepare learners for vocational and technical career entry, transition, and advancement. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.