June 14th- A Day Ending With S’mores- Montana

by Suzanne

Thursday went very smoothly. In the morning, Phyllis announced that our Facebook page, where we can share photos, is up. Kelsey finished her newspaper story on energy assistance for low-income housing. She also met with Sherri from the Blackfeet Academy about their horticultural program this summer. Some of their projects: the outside classroom at the Academy, marketing to sell their plants, their summer school teaching about plants and vegetables, the community garden.

Carita returned to the Boys and Girls Club to read with children. Carita was also requested by Ginny to return to the Library. She checked copyrights on books in the morning and shelved books in the afternoon.

Liz and her kids went to the CDC in the morning to weed with Kelly. She also met with Kelly to talk about financial literacy for elementary school children.

In the afternoon, she and the boys went to the Care Center. Since today is Flag Day, they helped residents make flags out of popsicle sticks. They also enjoyed a Flag Day cake after pledging allegiance. One resident, Napi, is a Viet Nam vet who was exposed to Agent Orange and became blind and diabetic as a result. He told the boys about why he won the Purple Heart and a Bronze Medal, and that when he injured his foot, the Navy wanted to cut it off. He told them: “I’m an Indian and you are not cutting off my foot.”

Work Project in MontanaAlexander and Lucia stayed with Head Start. Alexander cleaned rugs in Seville, then he and Lucia painted boards at the Head Start in Browning, while, John and Alice went to the dome to plant gardens with Wilburt. They planted a garden after roto-tilling: carrots, squash, beets, beans, oregano, and cilantro.

Suzanne went to a senior housing facility. First she rolled cutlery in napkins with Shirley, 75, who was raised by her grandparents. She raised her two kids on her own, working two jobs. “I never took nothing,” she said, meaning handouts or welfare. She encouraged her children to make something of themselves. Both went to college. Her daughter Leah teaches Blackfeet language and history at the college, and is working on her PhD online. Her son lives in Bozeman and works as a carpenter and an electrician. Shirley has 6 grandchildren, ages 4 to 21. The oldest is a senior in college. Suzanne then went with Sean to deliver 80 Meals on Wheels. The older folks were very pleasant and smiled. Many have grandchildren and children either living with them or helping them. Most live in mobile homes. Dogs everywhere of course. Sean knows them all by name and is very kind to them. One street we delivered on was called Death Row because so many people die there. Sean has his complicated, convoluted route down pat.

In the evening, we went to visit Brother Ray from the Catholic school in town, the De La Salle Blackfeet School. We had hot dogs, sausages and s’mores, and talked a little about the school and the mission which used to run a boarding school – the word now is fairly taboo on the Rez . Then we took a walk down to the river near where Lewis and Clark killed the only Indians during their expeditions. Brother Ray’s dog Jack (his other dog is named Jill) took a swim in the river, managing to swim expertly against the current.

We arrived back at Head Start relatively early.

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