Leadership Montana Program Reflection: Molly Davidson (Missoula), Class of 2022
Flagship Session: Travis Yuzik
February 28, 2023
Masters Class Session: Josh Slotnick
March 31, 2023


Brandee Sink, Class of 2023, Missoula

Session 5 | Miles City

Brandee Sink, Class of 2023
Missoula, MT

The Flagship Class of 2023 met in Miles City for our 6th session together. When we realized that we are coming toward the end of our time as classmates, we started to talk about future plans and activities to share with each other. “Let’s get out on our mountain bikes this summer!” “Want to connect and grab beers at the brewery?” “I’m coming back to visit can I stay with you?” The consensus was that this has gone by very fast, and we realize we only have one more in-depth session during this chapter of our experience. We want to find ways to extend our friendships and collaboration far past our upcoming graduation, and I believe we will do just that!

Miles City is known as the perfect blend between “Old West” and “Up Scale,” according to the Miles City Chamber. With activities large and small, one thing is for sure, Miles City is more than just the Bucking Horse Sale or just another small MT town. As mentioned by community leaders, Miles City may move slowly, but they are intentional, they always get it done eventually and collectively with all hands on deck. We learned about great partnerships with the Miles City Community College and Eastern MT High School students preparing for the real world and the amazing service and commitment of Holy Rosary Healthcare, which has not closed its doors for even a day in over 112 years. In addition, they have longevity and sought-after career opportunities in their law enforcement department, the Miles City BLM field office, and at the USDA -Agricultural Research Service center. All fascinating to learn more about.

While Miles City has challenges with an aging population, they are seeing more and more return of the next generation that are looking for new ways to stay rural and, in some cases, return to their roots. They have a lot to look forward to and know how to celebrate that together.

We were privileged enough to get a personal tour of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, including Ashland and Lame Deer. Understanding on a deeper level the challenges and successes these communities face each and every day. Whether it is helping support community members with their first loan and keeping their land, or a small loan to make ends meet, they have always found a way to support each other through their Curtesy Cash and now Morning Star Credit Union. They roll up their sleeves and figured out how to build a mobile processing truck to help local ranchers with on-site processing and then keeping that within the community for fresh, affordable, efficient, and economic sustainability. They are resilient proud people that welcomed us with open arms to share with us their strength and commitment to each other. Witnessing firsthand two incredibly beautiful and successful women returning to Lame Deer from both sides of the country, showed us just how much pride and commitment to family they really have.

While in Miles City, we were blessed to have witnessed a beautiful display of northern lights that, in my heart, is a reflection of the bright affection we are sharing with one another. This was mother nature’s way of making us all stop for a moment and appreciate being exactly where we are in that moment and relish in this journey!