Our time at the Rocky Boy reservation for 2015 has come to a close. After much preparation, some sweat (okay a lot), calloused hands, a few bug bits and many laughs we are home. When I look back on the past week it’s not the work we accomplished that I remember. It is the dancing and those moments of peace and calm I experienced while listening to the beat of the drums and seeing the moccasins land softly on the grass that stick with me.
On Wednesday evening we were treated to a “mini pow-wow” by a drum group (aka Rock Stars of the reservation) and dancers from the Tribe who shared their gifts and traditions with us. Mia Lame Bull one of the dancers we have known over 6 years—we have seen her grow from a Middle school youth helping her dad Mike at the church, to become a young woman in her 20’s studying education at MSU, Northern in Havre. J’Reese Sutherland a 1st grader has been dancing since he could walk and is the grandson of Mike. He wears the “Luther Rose” as part of his regalia and combines his native spirituality of the dance with his Lutheran heritage.
Going to Rocky Boy is a bit like coming home. Everyone who has gone on this trip takes a piece of the reservation home with us and we often leave some of ourselves there. Our time at Rocky Boy is more than the work we do…it is the men in the drum group, their children running around, Mike helping our youth with projects and Mia and J’Reese dancing that keeps us coming back.