June 3 – Learning About Blackfeet Country- Montana

Sunday, June 3 by: Aly Nielson

Today was the first full day on the Blackfeet Reservation. What a day! Slowly, we all began to wake up and make our way to the lounge for breakfast, where there was cereal, toast, and coffee. Yum.

We listened to Michele talk a little bit more about Browning. Then, we all got ready for the day and met together for a meeting in the…meeting room. At this point, we finally introduced ourselves officially. Our group consists of Linda from Pennsylvania, Barry from Maryland, Marie from New York, Miriam from Connecticut (although she goes to school with Marie in New York), Aly from Utah, Kelsey from Washington (although she goes to school at the University of Montana), Lucia from England, and of course, our fabulous team leader, Michele.

After introducing ourselves, we participated in a couple team building activities. First, we listed what we all thought were 19 characteristics of an effective team. Then, we individually wrote down three goals we had for this week and we shared them with each other. We found that many of us had similar goals. Interesting, but at the same time, kind of expected. After the team building, we went over some of the rules, as well as the policies and guidelines. Then Michele gave us a list of activities we could do in our free time.

By the time we were finished, Joe Gessepe, a local man who works at BCC and helps with the teams,  showed up at Head Start. While Michele and Linda went to the store to get food for lunch, the rest of us stood around listening to Joe tell us stories. The storytelling and conversations continued over a lunch of sandwiches, apples, chips, pretzels, and cookies. When lunch was over, we all piled into the van and headed of on an adventure (tour) of the northern part of the reservation. Throughout the whole tour, we listened to Joe and Michele tell us some background and history of the reservation. It was quite interesting.

The first thing we did was head north toward Duck Lake. Michele said it was the northern most road you can go on the U.S. side of the reservation. We saw Chief Mountain in the distance, which is consider a place of power/spirituality. We pulled to the side of the road to take pictures. Next, we saw Lower St. Mary Lake and then headed toward Babb (they apparently call themselves Babylonians). Then we came to Sherbert Lake (on the reservation side, of course. We weren’t allowed to go into Glacier National Park). We saw a moose.

Michele pointed out several other mountains along our way to Upper St. Mary Lake. We even got to see the profile of St. Mary on one of the mountains, which is where St. Mary got its name. Unfortunately, at this point Joe told us a story about a terrible fire a few years ago that start in Glacier National Park and came over to the reservation. We saw miles of trees that were affected by this. He also pointed out the dam that broke causing a huge flood in 1964. At this point, many of us seemed quite tired. Michele pulled over and we went for a lovely little stroll. It was beautiful, and it seemed to wake us up a bit because when we got in the van, there was definitely more talking/conversations.

Now that our adventure was over, we headed back to Head Start where we met Candy LaMott, who made use a delicious dinner of chicken and vegetables. We also had watermelon and salad. Once we all had our fill, we watched a movie about Global Volunteers and then one about the history of the Blackfeet Indians. It was quite interesting to watch and learn more about the Blackfeet. Afterward, we decided to go on a quick stroll around town, which turned out to be quite a nice end of the day activity.

When we returned to Head Start, the team members all went their own ways. Some went off to bed. Others decided to eat more food. And some even started to watch Casper. Whatever it was we did, most of us wondered what tomorrow will bring.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply