Be The Change – Episode #22
This episode takes us to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Northwest Montana – in the shadow of the great Rocky Mountains. Once part of the land that now cradles Glacier National Park, to most visitors, this sovereign nation is but a “pass through” on the road. But, a closer look reveals a spirit that’s as majestic as the mountains themselves. Reservation volunteers take the time to learn about the traditions, history and heart of the reservation – directly from those who live, work and struggle there. Our storytellers define the line between what we think we know, and what we are privileged to learn, about Native Americans.
Global Volunteers Co-founder Michele Gran provides a context – and sense of place – for this episode’s storytellers. “I’m always energized when I go to the reservation,” she says. “We work with the leaders, and the seekers, and the visionaries, and the doers in the community. And it’s nothing short of inspirational.”
“Everytime I’m there, I wonder what the United States would look like if we had adopted their ways instead of washing them,” says Cindy Murray, a team leader. They have a grace and elegance, as well as a history and culture, Cindy explains, that we all can learn from.
International Operations Director Peter Kelly defines two of the service projects – supporting elders – that put volunteers in the midst of the day-to-day life on the reservation.
You can expect cultural insights each day, at the work site or on the way to assignments. Gabe, a volunteer, describes encountering a bald eagle – and the tradition of honoring this symbolic animal in the Blackfeet culture.