Thanks to Vic Charlo for his friendship, for putting his life into his poems and for our work together. From years of conversations, he’s taught me about his everyday Native life and inspired me to be better in my own. Born and raised on the Flathead Reservation, Vic has been involved in Native causes all his life, including co-founding the first all-Indian high school on his reservation and counseling youth there at the only all-Native American Job Corps in the US. He holds a Master's degree in Curriculum from Gonzaga University. His work has been published in many literary journals and anthologies and he is the author of two books, Put Sey Good Enough (2008) and Dirty Corner Poems and Other Stories (2018). He is a "writer-in-the-schools" through The Missoula Writing Collaborative, which teaches children to love writing.
Cass Fey, former education curator of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson, has created this rich resource from my photographs, videos and Vic Charlo’s poems. She's been patient with my process and shares my passion for making it the best it can be.
Jordann Lankford (Bright Trail Woman), A'aniiih and Anishinaabe, is an educator, Indian Education for All (IEFA) instructional coach and winner of the 2022 IEFA Best Practices Advocacy Award. From Great Falls, Montana, she's an experienced content developer and exceptional educator who brings Native perspective to all our expanding materials.
Special thanks to the Native American educators who review our content so that it's culturally sensitive and can effectively create bridges of understanding between non-Native and Native American youth.
- Salish educator Julie Cajune,
- Jace DeCory, Assistant Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies, Black Hills State University and enrolled member of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe,
- Alina Graves, Salish middle school Social Studies and Creative Expressions teacher,
- Mike Jetty, Indian Education specialist with Montana's Office of Public Instruction, and enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation and a Turtle Mountain Chippewa descendant, and
- Jennifer Martel, Sitting Bull College Visitor's Center Coordinator and member of Cheynne River Sioux Tribe.
Marina Weatherly's review as a non-Native teacher with years of Indian Education for All experience was invaluable as were Nancy Dougherty's and Mimi Bupp's feedback with their non-Native equity teaching perspective. Many other educators' suggestions also have made such a difference. Lots of Native families generously shared their stories and permission to create and use these photographs and videos of their children. Thank you all!
To my husband Bob, whose love and belief in me have encouraged me every step of the way: you're a treasure.