Leadership Montana Classroom Reflection: Indigenous Immersion Initiative Reflection: John Morrison, Helena, Class of 2005 and III 2022
Flagship Session: Greg Doyon
October 31, 2022
Masters Class Session: Arielle Allen
November 30, 2022


Sheri Jarvis, Red Lodge, Class of 2019, Masters of 2020, and III 2022 and
Emily Frazier, Helena, Class of 2021

Confluence Spotlight

Sheri Jarvis, Red Lodge, Class of 2019, Masters of 2020, and III 2022 and

Emily Frazier, Helena, Class of 2021

The very name “Confluence” feels more than apt for the Havre and Rocky Boy session of this LMT annual gathering. Rather than a merging of two rivers, our fall days spent on the hi-line marked the junction of two cultures—two communities—linked, but distinctive.

In Havre, we met farmers, educators, leaders, and entrepreneurs. We toured the respectfully renovated historic Post Office and the reimagined Masonic building, saw the latest in mechanical education at MSU Northern, and explored the outdoors in the largest county park in the United States.  We also received a fascinating and extensive lesson in ranch management.

In Rocky Boy, we also met incredible leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs, but with very different stories and experiences. The most honored leaders, the grandmas, welcomed us with thoughtful reflections, humor, and burning sweetgrass. We heard from business owners whose success exceeded financial measurements with achievements leveraged by tenacity and grace despite limited access to resources. And we were actively engaged by educators who shared elements of Cree language with us during a presentation by the Chippewa and Cree Language Revitalization team.

The differences stood out. In Havre, local business owners celebrated abundant opportunities, a welcoming community, and eager volunteers promising success to those who are brave enough to take on a challenge. In Rocky Boy, the barriers to individual or community success and wealth are apparent.  Memorably, one tribal member said of Havre, “I feel like I’m part of your community, but I don’t think you feel like you are part of mine.”  We spent the next morning talking about our own histories that may have shaped our complicity in lost opportunities.

We left the hi-line with questions we can’t answer and problems we can’t solve. But we felt awake and aware, and linked to others who feel the same way.