I’ve worked in the language department for the last three years and I’m the lead teacher for kindergarten and 1st grade.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Of course, learning my Tribe’s language and culture, but the kids I get to teach, are my blood, my nieces, and nephews. I get to spend every day with them and help teach them this stuff and help mold them to be awesome people.
What’s the best thing about Kalispel Tribe?
We have always been kind helpful people, we know the importance of laughter and prayer.
What does your workspace look like?
When the kids aren’t in it, I have piles of Salish dictionaries and projects I’m working on and translating and everything is frog themed.
What’s been one of your proudest moments working at Kalispel Tribe? Trying to learn and teach our language.
I don’t know if my Yaya ever that us younglings were going to do that. Seeing the kids go up and sing songs they learned in my class, and I didn’t even know they were going to.
What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?
Spreading my time out between my family. Reading a good book series, walking to the river to listening to the eagle call with my husband and my hairy kids (my dogs). Also drawing and beading.
What or who inspires you? People that are true to themselves and how they carry themselves.
Nature is so inspiring, you know you’re close to God. Also in my art room at home, I have three fish tanks, it’s calming and inspiring, along with Tom Petty playing softly in the background.
Fill in the blank: I once met…
A stray rez mutt with no name.
How do you define success?
Reaching that goal you had made. Being where you can feel complete in what you set out to do.
What is your favorite event that Kalispel Tribe puts on?
Ooh, it’s a tie between the powwow and the Salish conference.
What advice would you give to younger tribal members?
Get involved in your tribe. Doing that only brings you closer to your family. And you will know who you are where you came from. You’ll get to know your ancestors and you will have strong powerful knowledge to pass on.
What are five words (or less) of advice for others in your profession?
Believe in yourself.