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ROOTED IN MONTANA FOR THE MOMENT

ROOTED IN MONTANA FOR THE MOMENT

Today I was jonzin’ for a pizza—a thin crust pizza with feta and spinach, to be exact. I prowled downtown. There’s one grill and one diner. No pizza. Alas, I ended up with a grilled Velveeta sandwich. I am in Wolf Point, Montana—population 1,900.  This is the biggest city on Fort Peck Indian Reservation, the ninth largest reservation in America. Like far too many other rural downtowns, many of buildings are boarded. There are more bars than restaurants. More car…

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BEYOND SUICIDE, METH & DESPAIR

BEYOND SUICIDE, METH & DESPAIR

Hope and Opportunity Mamma Carrie Style The land of no tears It was on a Friday night at a high school football game on the Fort Peck Reservation that it dawned on me: the child whimpering in the parking lot was the first cry I’d heard since arriving almost two weeks before. It wasn’t that I hadn’t been around children. I’d been to two pow wows, a myriad of grocery stores, and a rodeo.  I wondered what was different here…

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CREATING TOMORROW’S BUSINESS LEADERS TODAY

CREATING TOMORROW’S BUSINESS LEADERS TODAY

Prairie Bighorn Blount & Her Vision For Indigenous Business. Meet Prairie Bighorn Blount (pronounced blunt), a woman whose vision knows no bounds and her ability to turn dust into gold, impressive. I first met Prairie last winter at a sold-out business leadership conference she had spearheaded at Nike headquarters with notable speakers including the N7 founder, Sam McCracken, and Taboo from Black Eyed Peas.    Four years ago when American Indigenous Business Leaders (AIBL), a national organization for business leaders…

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CREATING COMMUNITY: OVERCOMING ONE OBSTACLE AT A TIME

CREATING COMMUNITY: OVERCOMING ONE OBSTACLE AT A TIME

I pulled into the Warrior Challenge Relay, put on by Circles of Care at Spotted Bull Recovery Center, as relay runners were emerging from a 20-foot-wide cargo net stretched taught, inches above a sand pit dotted with small, sharp cacti. The race was on! A young woman who was behind in the first leg, a mile sprint around the pow wow grounds, had pulled ahead as she completed her first of thirteen obstacles.  At the north side of the course,…

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IN THIS EDITION OF GOING RURAL—When the Light Gets in

IN THIS EDITION OF GOING RURAL—When the Light Gets in

The dog days of summer are here. As Oregon warms up, I’m finally pulling myself out of Oregon and heading north to Montana where it should be a bit cooler. It’s hard to go, but I’m truly GOING RURAL in every way. Sometimes I wonder how I ever spent so many years in big cities. I can’t imagine ever doing that again.  As I leave southern Oregon, I am looking forward to returning in late September to be part of…

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IT’S SO HARD SAYING GOODBYE TO TIMBER COUNTRY

IT’S SO HARD SAYING GOODBYE TO TIMBER COUNTRY

I never thought I’d find it so excruciatingly difficult to leave Oregon, especially southern Oregon’s timber communities. As I drag my feet in my final days before heading north, I want to take time to consider what I learned in these rural towns that dot our state. What do I most hope to impart to others? What inspired me? What made me wince? What made me smile?  Here are my mosts. There are many more—but these are what came to…

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HOLY SMOKES? WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON HERE?

HOLY SMOKES? WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON HERE?

The world is on fire as we watch the news. Over the last two weeks I’ve been in and out of Canyonville’s milepost 97 fire. Like so many issues facing rural communities, fire encapsulates so much of what occurs in these regions of the world. City people seldom get to be a part of that. There’s the official, stated cause, for how the fire started. And then there’s the chatter, the finger pointing and the speculation. My own journey into…

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GOOD NEWS FROM TRIBAL COUNTRY!

GOOD NEWS FROM TRIBAL COUNTRY!

Meet The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians I heard about The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians debate when I was interviewing decedents of pioneers who’d received free land in the 1850’s as part of Oregon’s Donation Land Act. During my interviews, I’d often hear, “They aren’t a real tribe.” “Really?” I’d ask. “What are they, then?” The response would be the same. “They just aren’t a real tribe.” I needed to know more so…

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WHAT’S GOING ON WITH GOING RURAL?

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH GOING RURAL?

Two months have sped by. This set of blogs included Tips To Help You Go Rural—Successfully, Finding the Zen Of Rural Life,  discovering How Easy Inclusion Can Be, and An Homage To Strong Women in Rural America.  Hey! By the way, radio stations are interviewing me! Stay tuned.     

FIVE QUICK TRIPS TO GO RURAL ON YOUR OWN

FIVE QUICK TRIPS TO GO RURAL ON YOUR OWN

If you are like so many city people who ask, “How do you do it? How do you get people to talk to you in rural communities,” I finally have a bit of a primer for you.   I’ve got to be honest. This has been a challenge to answer. Getting people to talk to me as been so easy. It’s so easy, in fact, it’s hard to figure out how I do it.  Over the last few weeks, a number…

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