My job title is Kalispel Tribe Cultural Specialist.
Briefly describe what your workday looks like?
Checking in with the boss for any special projects and just to say good morning. Responding to emails and phone calls. Setting up, prepping and gathering tools and materials for the current days plan.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Learning and sharing our culture with our qlipse membership and our younger future generations to carry on.
What’s the best thing about Kalispel Tribe?
Our sharing, caring, close knit community.
What does your workspace look like?
We have an office space for regular office duties, like filing, communicating through email etc., but we do a lot of outside work. We travel and make trips, many times with other Tribes, to aboriginal territories, learning what our ancestors did in certain areas. We travel to other Tribes and invite other Tribes to our own gatherings, as our people have for decades, for various things, such as bitter root and Camas digs, huckleberry feasts, salmon ceremonies, medicine dances, etc. We work with local museums, sharing artifacts and information on our Qlispe history. Seasonally, we are outside to gather and harvest traditional plants, foods, medicines and materials. We use our community building for large projects and classes, such as, tipi making, medicine making, sewing traditional regalia, etc. We are having a canoe house built for carving and storing canoes. We attend many canoe journeys with other Tribes and host one of our own during our annual Pow Wow. We support and host healing gatherings, such as, support groups and sweats.
What has been the proudest moments working at Kalispel Tribe?
Some of the proudest moments for me are when we can put aside differences and get together to support each other in important times of need, such as funerals. Also, it is always a proud moment when we have a soft opening, for Qlispe Tribal Members only, for any of our economical businesses that are going to financially support our people, but also contribute to the public and mainstream society. I can’t forget to mention when any of our Tribal Members or my children or grandchildren earn a certificate, degree, or complete a spiritual journey, it really makes my heart happy.
What do you like to do when you are not at the office?
I like to make time for family. I plan a lot local travels, dinners, and once in a while vacations with my children and grand kids. I love to cook with my family, but also love to fine dine and travel with just my fiance. I enjoy working on my yard and occasionally relaxing with a good movie or TV show.
What inspires you?
Listening to my elders and teachers from all walks of life, learning my culture and history, learning about traumas and what seems like impossible obstacles that people survive and overcome, and listening to the Father at church.
Fill in the blank:
I once met…county music artists: Toby Keith, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert and also former member of the rock band “Beatles”, Ringo Starr.
If you could pick one superhero, who would it be?
Thor, God of Thunder.
What is the song title that best describes your personality?
LOL Joan Jett “Bad Reputation”.
What advice would you give to younger tribal members?
Go to school, contribute to society don’t be a menace to it, watch your ego, always be humble, don’t get caught up in gossip, make some effort to learn your Qlispe language and culture, never give up, always have respect for everyone, and don’t forget to pray and be grateful to Creator.