Episode 40: Indigenous Immersion Initiative Mini-Series episode 3 - Leadership Montana
Episode 39: Indigenous Immersion Initiative Mini-Series episode 2
March 8, 2023
Episode 41: Indigenous Immersion Initiative Mini-Series episode 4
March 20, 2023

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Episode 40: Indigenous Immersion Initiative Mini-Series episode 3

For episode 3 of our Mini-Series, we’re featuring a car ride conversation between two participants in Leadership Montana’s Indigenous Immersion Initiative, Emily Yost of Livingston and Chris Warden of Missoula. Emily and Chris talk about why they want to learn more about Indigenous communities and culture in Montana, what they learned during their visit to Northern Cheyenne Nation, and how they are grappling with the guilt and pain they feel as they deepen their understanding of Indigenous history. Emily and Chris also describe their experience participating in a sweat lodge in Lame Deer, Montana, and how cared for they felt throughout that new experience.

Emily

Powerful Quotes

On why she said ‘yes’ to the program: “So I realized in work and in my personal life that I didn’t have native perspectives, and why is that? Why don’t I have friends or work connections or people in other communities in my life that are native that I’m aware of? And I felt like that was missing. So I’m really glad the program said yes to me.“

 

“That’s something that I’ve been struck by at this session, is the need for healing within native communities, but we need to do it together because we need to heal too. I think there’s a lot of power in that, and I’d like to lean into it more.”

 

“One of the challenges for me has been articulating my feelings, probably around guilt, around this topic, so I’m glad that we have some more time so I can work through my own reflection and also begin to share that with other people and have those discussions more comfortably because I think I had some discomfort about talking about race with my friends and my communities and I think starting within myself and identifying how I feel, and noticing my own thoughts and I wonder, where did that thought come from?  I didn’t realize I held that notion or idea about people. I wasn’t even aware that I held that.  It almost doesn’t matter where it came from for me right now, because I’m noticing within myself and through self-awareness, working through more reflection on what has happened and what do I do in the future?”

Chris

Inspiring Quotes

“When this program was first envisioned and it was discussed, I agreed that being able to come have this opportunity to truly immerse yourself in someone else’s culture, and particularly Indigenous culture, could be potentially a life-changing experience for me but something that is really important for all leaders in Montana if we’re really working to come together as one community in Montana and really understand everybody in Montana.”

 

I guess coming into this program I knew that I would learn new things and I would see new perspectives, but I think what has happened to me is more like ‘What is my role in it? And how do I come to grips with what has occurred in history?’ Because I think it’s easy for a white person like me to say ‘well, you know those are past times, and I wasn’t directly involved and you know we’ve come so far’ and I think that’s where I started the program and that’s where I’m at now.

 

”I actually feel a great deal of kinda personal guilt and pain for what happened. And I actually think that’s right for where I’m at. And I think there’s a lot of healing to do both within Indian country and outside of it. And maybe there’s even a need as we try to build bridges to the future is that we also need to heal together.”