I have traveled to the Fort Peck Reservation for the past 17 years and it has become apparent that there are so many brave people on this Reservation. They endure third-world conditions and suffering and yet each time we visit, they always welcome us with such hospitality.
It’s so easy to think that people off the Reservation would act this way also if they walked in the shoes of people on the Reservation.
Years ago I brought one of my daughters to the Reservation for a healing ceremony. She was a dancer who was in college and couldn’t dance because of her knees. A well-known healer was visiting the Reservation and we were invited to participate in his ceremony. They held a sweat for her to heal her ‘balky’ knees.
After the sweat, the facilitator had invited all of the participants over to his house to celebrate my daughter’s healing. His house was very modest and there were at least 8 kids there and several dogs. The feast consisted of government-issued cheese, bread, and canned soup. It was delicious.
This family was enduring obvious economic strain yet they were so kind and hospitable to me and my daughter. In spite of all of their suffering, they had come together to help my daughter.
This image of kindness and the bravery to face their living conditions without giving up or giving in to their environment left a permanent stamp on my heart.
When most people think of bravery, they think of soldiers, sports stars, police, first responders, etc.
I think of the people on the Fort Peck Reservation.
The bravest people I’ve ever seen.